Gravity and Egg Drop Projects

Keep the egg from cracking by creating a cushioned drop project.
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Whether they realize it or not, children begin experimenting with gravity at a very young age. When you watch an infant throw her bottle onto the floor, she is discovering how gravity works. You can take this idea to a more sophisticated level during your child's grade school and middle school years and try out an egg drop project. Instead of dropping a raw egg to the ground to see gravity's effect, have your child create her own caddy to protect and cushion it.

Open one plastic zipper bag. Pour the bag half-full with rice cereal. Insert the egg, gently pushing it down into the cereal. Fill the rest of the bag -- leaving some room at the top to seal -- with more rice cereal. Zip the bag. Seal the top zipper part of the bag with a band of masking tape.

Line up four more plastic zipper bags. Fill each bag almost to the top with the rice cereal. Zipper the bags. Seal each bag at the top with a piece of masking tape.

Surround the egg bag with the other four bags. Tape the grouping of bags together, securing the egg bag in the center.

Insert the entire cereal bag grouping into a shoebox or larger box if needed. Close the box or put the lid on it. Tape the box shut.

Determine a height to drop the egg from. Choose a substantial height, such as a second floor window or a backyard deck.

Bring the egg box to your drop spot. Have an adult hold the box out, letting go of it to watch it drop to the ground. Children can watch the egg box drop from a space on the ground that is out of the box's way.

Retrieve the egg box. Take the tape off the box and open it. Remove the outer bags of rice cereal. Unseal the inner egg bag. Inspect the bag to see if the egg is intact or broken. If the egg is intact, pour the cereal out into the box or another bag and remove the egg.

  • Never allow a child to drop the egg. The height of the drop can pose a potential safety hazard.
  • Don't lean over a window or deck rail to drop the project. This poses a safety hazard.
  • Never allow a child to handle the raw egg if it breaks.
  • Instruct all children to stand back during the drop to avoid anyone getting hit or splattered.
  • Add different materials to your egg drop concoction if the first one doesn't work well. Use Styrofoam packing peanuts, balloons, balled-up wash clothes or another soft cushion.
  • Remove the box from the equation if it seems too heavy or clunky for your drop height. Add extra cushioning, such as balloons or Styrofoam cups, around the egg.

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.