Fifth grade students at the Valley Stream Union Free School District Thirteen James A. Dever Elementary School recently put their STEM skills to the test by participating in an Egg Drop Challenge. The activity required students to utilize their understanding of physics and engineering to build a device that would protect an egg from breaking—even if it were dropped from the school’s rooftop. The lesson commenced with the students reading the true story of Annie Edison Taylor, the first person to survive traveling down the Niagara Falls in a wooden barrel. Under the guidance of Cradle of Aviation educator Mike Sassi, students then explored possible methods to design an apparatus that could protect an egg from the rooftop fall.
Considering the four forces of flight (lift, thrust, drag and gravity) students worked together in groups using paper plates, cups, plastic bags and string to build their devices. After completing this task, students went outside to watch custodians Mr. Babst and Mr. Centore drop their creations from the school’s rooftop. Many of the students’ creations were successful and proved to be safe vessels to carry an egg safely through a two story drop to the ground.
This exciting classroom activity was part of the Valley Stream Union Free School District Thirteen’s ongoing mission to provide students with an intergraded curriculum that combines multiple areas of study in an engaging manner—this time putting reading comprehension and STEM to action.