As one of Emily’s projects for her Moving Beyond the Page Technology unit, she was challenged to build a device that would protect an egg when dropped from 15 feet. She was given specific instructions as to which materials she was permitted to use—rubber bands, popsicle sticks, and cotton fabric.
First, she confidently swaddled her egg in layers of fabric, secured them with rubber bands and made the drop. Her lack of serious effort was rewarded with a smashed egg.
Next, Emily wrapped her egg in fabric, placed it in a plastic container, wrapped the plastic container in more fabric and placed everything into a paper bag secured with a rubber band. Success! The egg didn’t break. But….she didn’t follow directions and used “illegal” supplies. Back to the drawing board!
Third try! Now Emily got serious. She went to work with the popsicle sticks and glue gun to make a protective box. She wrapped up the egg, made a nest of fabric to cushion it, and made the drop again. However, she had left one side open to put the egg in, and the cushioned egg bounced out after it landed. Not a total break, but it did crack. She needed just one more drop with her egg more securely held in the box.
This was a fun learning process that encouraged creative thinking and problem solving. And it was so much fun that it didn’t seem like “school!”