Egg Drop Experiment Lesson Plan

Instructor: Josh Corbat

Josh has taught Earth Science and Physical Science at the High School level and holds a Master of Education degree from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Use this lesson plan to help your students build an understanding of Newton's Law of Inertia before taking to the heights for an experiment. After reading an informational text to lay groundwork, students will complete vocabulary exercises and do a fun real-world problem-solving activity.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define and give examples explaining Newton's Law of Inertia
  • solve a real-world problem related to Newton's Law of Inertia

Length

60-90 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.2

Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.3

Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.4

Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.10

By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grades 4-5 text complexity band independently and proficiently.

Key Vocabulary

  • Inertia
  • Law of Inertia
  • Friction

Materials

  • Printed copies of the lesson Inertia Lesson for Kids: Definition, Law & Examples or devices for electronic distribution
  • Copies of the related quiz
  • Straws
  • Tape
  • Toothpicks
  • Paper clips
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Cotton balls
  • Tissues or pieces of cloth
  • Eggs (enough for each student, with a few to spare in case of accidental dropping)
  • Ladder or access to a reasonably high area

Instructions

  • Begin the lesson by distributing (either via hard copy or electronically) the lesson Inertia Lesson for Kids: Definition, Law & Examples. Write the following vocabulary words on the board:
    • Inertia
    • Law of Inertia
    • Friction
  • Either read the article aloud or have students read it individually, annotating or highlighting as they go in order to be able to define the vocabulary words when they are finished.
  • Distribute the article's related quiz and have students complete it individually. On the back of the quiz, have students define each of the vocabulary words.
  • Hold a quick whole class discussion of each of the vocabulary words. Write the class consensus definitions on the board.

Egg Drop Experiment

  • Next, students will solve a real-world problem related to the concept of inertia. Their goal is to construct an apparatus that will enable an egg to survive uncracked when dropped to the ground from a height. This activity is best done by allowing students to be creative with very few restrictions.
  • To conserve materials, you may want to set some very reasonable restrictions. These can include a size restriction (e.g. no more than 5 inches cubed) and a number of materials restriction (e.g. no more than 15 individual materials can be used, no more than 10 inches of tape, etc.).
  • You can either make the egg drop a competition (i.e. which apparatus allows an egg to survive from the highest drop) or an individual challenge (perhaps bonus points are attached to having a student's egg survive).
  • The egg drop works perfectly well from atop a ladder, but some people prefer to drop the eggs off the roof of a building. In either situation, only allow adults to do the dropping (most likely you) and remain conscious of safety guidelines at all times.
  • Drop the eggs! This is a great activity for a bit of fanfare. Invite the principal and other classes to participate in the dropping portion.

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