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Physical science classes conduct egg experiment

Although throwing eggs off two-story buildings is usually considered the practice of adolescent pranksters, Annette Sarkissian’s physical science class has adopted this activity as a means to teach physics on Jan. 20.

After studying physics and watching Apollo 13, students were presented with the challenge of creating a “landing pod” for their egg. Their goal is to allow their egg to travel two stories down and make a safe landing, as if it were a space pod arriving from space.

Students were given a limited budget to purchase household items like plastic bags, toilet paper rolls and other resources with which to construct their pod.

“This assignment was a great exercise that the students had a lot of fun with,” Sarkissian said. “The students were supposed to create landing pods, throw them out of the top floor window, and see if their egg had cracked. If they succeeded in protecting their egg, they received an A, but if their egg has cracked the highest grade they can receive is a B-.”

Most students were enthusiastic about the assignment.

“When I heard that we would be throwing eggs out of a building I was excited,” Christie Belden, ’06, said. “But when I found out that we would be using a lot of class time to make the project it became even better.”

Students enjoyed the experiment, and hopefully learned some physics along the way.

“I learned about physics through this experiment,” Greg Tharpe, ’04, said. “For every action there is a reaction, and when we dropped my egg, it broke its neck. Poor egg. But I have learned never to throw an egg off a two-story building.”

There were some keys for success with this experiment. Slowing the descent of the egg with a parachute was crucial, which allowed the eggs to land softly and safely. Students also found that adding a nice pad on their pod for the egg to land on was very beneficial. A final step was to make sure the egg didn’t hit the ground directly by shielding it with either padding or tape.

Only three pairs of students had their eggs survive the experiment. Freshman Sara Mesple and Catie Walker, juniors Lindsey Martens and Ashley Tucker, and seniors Amanda Quist and Crystal Stallings all watched their eggs fly to safety.

For more information on Sarkissian and her class, go online at www.thefeather.com.

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