Shawnee Mission middle school students have been drawing upon their scientific knowledge with the hope of avoiding a scrambled mess.
In several classrooms across the district, students have been constructing structures that can protect an egg through assigned obstacles. Each experiment was developed to help them better understand physics, engineering design, and problem-solving.
Hocker Grove – On Track with Newton’s Laws
In recent days, students at Hocker Grove have been asked to build a vehicle that can transport a raw egg as it traveled down a ramp.
Each vehicle was made out of materials such as drinking straws, cardboard, and paper. Once constructed, students ran several trials of transporting the egg down the track. Click here to see the video.
The lesson was designed to help students gain a deeper understanding of Newton’s three laws of motion. Students tested their vehicles multiple times and recorded the results, including the distance traveled and the amount of time.
“It didn’t go as far as I thought and the egg didn’t crack, which I guess is a good thing,” Addison Dasilva, eighth-grader said.
Even if eggs cracked or cars did not fully travel down the track Felicia Williams, science teacher told the students that was OK. Each trial helped the students learn and not all experiments work as planned, she said.
“They are actually touching, doing, and asking questions and answering their own questions,” Williams said. “The hands-on project helps them learn the answers on their own.”
Indian Woods- Egg Smasher Collision Test
At Indian Woods, eighth-graders in Vanessa Hannan’s advanced science and Whitney Smith’s science classes have been tasked with creating a helmet that can help an egg withstand a collision.
Each student-created helmet is being tested in a machine constructed by science teacher Wade Welton and inspired by a similar structure seen on the television show “Myth Busters.”
“They love the egg smasher,” teacher Vanessa Hannan said. “Even if the test fails, it motivates them to change what they are doing and work to fix it.”
The activity is helping students apply and reflect on what they’ve been learning about forces and the engineering process, Hannan said. As the lesson progresses, students will study more about the concept of force and how it might apply to everyday objects they use, like a cell phone case.
“They’ve loved the activity,” Hannan said. “They are excited and it’s providing them a lot of opportunity for teamwork and collaboration.”