Dozens of John Muir Middle School students couldn't contain their
laughter Friday as science teacher Joe Reed, decked out in a chicken
suit, dropped eggs in elaborately protective cases from a height of
20 feet as part of a campus science experiment.
Unlike the birds that laid them, the raw perishables did not fly.
"These kids are measuring speed velocity and calculating
acceleration," Reed said. "These are heavy- duty physics concepts."
As part of the school's first Egg Drop Challenge, the
sixth-graders were asked to pack a raw egg so it could be dropped
"I stood at the top of the stairs [near my home]" said student
Michelle Hovsepyan. "I tested [my package] five times."
The 11-year-old's wrapping consisted of cotton balls and blue
shredded paper encased in two halves of soda bottles, all packed in
a plastic bag just in case the egg broke. But it did not.
By using a measuring device, the sixth-graders could calculate the
speed at which their packages fell.
Because they are studying outer space, the challenge facing
students was also to build a "vehicle" for the eggs that would land
safely, like a space shuttle carrying astronauts, Reed said.
Packaging consisted of paper, balsa wood, blown-up balloons,
sponges and towels, some with parachutes in an effort to ensure a
While training future physicists, the project did not hurt the
city's grocery business.
"I think we're responsible for a huge spike in egg sales in
Burbank," Reed said.