Egg Lander

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Kitchen Science: Egg Lander

Find out how to build a space lander that can safely bring an egg back to earth.

For this experiment you'll need:

  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Kitchen sponges
  • 1 Carrier bag
  • String
  • Sticky tape
  • Cardboard tube (we found a gravy tube was the best fit)
  • Cotton wool (optional)

To find out how to make the egg lander watch the short animated video or follow the instructions underneath the video.

Instructions

  1. First take the two sponges  and cut out an egg shape that's half the thickness of the egg. You want to cut it so that the egg fits perfectly inside the sponges.
  2. Now squeeze the sponges (with the egg inside) into the cardboard tube.
  3. If you think that your egg needs a bit more protection you could put some cotton wool in the bottom of the tube first.
  4. Now cut two lengths of string and tie them to the handles of your carrier bag, then use sticky tape to secure the other ends of the string to your tube.
  5. Why don't we decorate this first to make it look a bit more space-y?
  6. Now it's time to test your egg lander!
  7. Very carefully throw your egg lander out the window.
  8. If it works the parachute will inflate and your egg will be unharmed when it touches the ground.
Science behind the experiment

This one is all about forces!

When creating an Egg Lander that is will protect a raw egg from cracking when dropped from a height, you need to consider how to lessen the force of impact. As the egg falls the momentum increases and so will it’s collision with the ground, to overcome this there are three main steps.

Gravity is pulling everything down, by adding a parachute to your Egg Lander you slow down the descent speed by causing air resistance

By cushioning the egg between the two sponges you are ensuring that something else, other than the egg, will absorb some of the impact or collision of landing.

Utilise the strong parts of the egg, the arch structure at the top and bottom of the egg are stronger than the sides. By trying to make the egg land on these will increase chance of survival.

Key Terms:

  • Forces: are pushes and pulls in a particular direction
  • Gravity: is the force by which a planet draws objects to its centre.
  • Air resistance: air resistance or drag acts against gravity on falling objects. In a parachute, air pushes it back up and creates an opposite force to gravity.
  • Momentum: is a measurement of mass in motion, an object that is moving has momentum.

Activities and Questions

Go back to the drawing board and change your Egg Lander, can you make one using completely different materials?

Work out the speed your egg hits the ground at (s = d/t). Measure the distance of your drop in meters and divide this by the time your egg takes to fall in seconds, this will give you the speed in meters per second.

Can you change meters per second to miles per hour?