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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Egg Drop problem

   
Author Topic: Egg Drop problem
Darth_Mauve
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Not how to drop the egg, but ideas on where to drop the egg from.

We are helping my son's scout troop do a Flight Themed camporee (major camp out for all scouts in a large area--hundreds will be there). It will be at a small local airport.

They loved the idea of doing an egg drop as part of the program. This is where the scouts are given an egg, and must create a device to hold the egg so that when it is dropped a large distance the egg doesn't break.

We thought to drop it from the tower. The airport and possibly the FAA said "No!"

The fire department is willing to send a truck, but not raise a ladder to do the dropping.

We can't afford to hire a "cherry picker" but we are asking for donations.

One man suggested we place the egg in one end of a 20 foot section of PVC pipe, and raise that pipe until its vertical. The egg would roll down the pipe. Not room in the pipe for parachutes or padding for the egg though.

My wife asked me to check with the creative people I know to decide how to do it. I'm calling on you.

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Stephan
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There has got to a building you can drop it off of. Or even out a third story window.
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AchillesHeel
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Does anyone have a 15 foot ladder and a truck to drive it out there? The kids wouldn't be able to drop it themselves (which is really the most fun part) but the rest should be doable. You could have each kid/team of kids present and explain how their design should work before handing it up the ladder to be tested.

I wouldn't go higher than a 15 footer if someone is going to be hanging out up there, holding things. Of course you want something higher but without some serious fabrication I have no better ideas.

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advice for robots
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If you could get one of those portable climbing walls that often appear at fairs, you could do a two-fer: the scout has to climb the wall in order to be able to drop the egg.
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Hobbes
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How high did you have in mind?

Hobbes [Smile]

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Darth_Mauve
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20 feet or so. The 15 foot ladder may be doable.

This will be on an airfield (flat and featureless) in the middle of corn fields. Flatter than a flapjack under a two ton weight.

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AchillesHeel
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You could use a ladder in the bed of a truck, but that would be highly dangerous and set a horrible example for the kids. Also, a shallow paint bucket for the eggs to be set on the little tray at the top of the ladder would assist the dropper in not falling off.
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MrSquicky
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How old are the scouts we're talking about? Given appropriate tools and materials (and a little supervision), older boy scouts should be able to build a structure to drop the eggs from.
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Darth_Mauve
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These are boy scouts, not Cub Scouts, so they may be able to create something too.
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AchillesHeel
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Scaffolding? Depending on whether you have any construction worker parents in the group it could be cost prohibitive and it requires set up, but at least you know it would be safe for everyone involved.
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Bella Bee
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I thought this would be about chicken illnesses. *disappointed*
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MrSquicky
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Were this me back when I was a Scout, I would have enjoyed building the structure more than the egg drop. Really, I think it's truer to the spirit of scouting to have the boys construct it themselves.

Honestly, if you've got the kids who could actually pull it off, I'd just present them with the problem and let them come up with the solution, with responsible adult supervision and signing off on it. To me, the point of the Scouts is to get kids to the point where they can do that.

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Hobbes
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20' is pretty doable. Honestly a short, step ladder and a pole with a tiny platform attached would get it done pretty easily. But I like Squicky's idea better. I mean we could always come up with something more complex but I'm not sure what the point would be.

Hobbes [Smile]

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CaySedai
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Could you rig something with PVC pipe where there's a rope through the pipe with some sort of release mechanism at the top? The eggs would drop outside the pipe that way.
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TomDavidson
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*nod* That was going to be my suggestion: a pulley with a release on a 20' pole.
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Darth_Mauve
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I suggested that. She wants to make it adjustable--have the winning eggs at 20' try for 30' etc. Extendable pole may work.
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Glenn Arnold
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How about a weather balloon on a tether? You'd have to rig a drop mechanism, and the scouts would have to build their egg drop devices to conform, but you could make it just about any height you want.

Link

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Stone_Wolf_
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How about borrowing a flag pole and run the egg up in a basket with a line attached to one side of the basket. Once the desired height is reached, pull the line, dumping the basket's contents out.
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scifibum
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Build a catapult.
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advice for robots
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Love the weather balloon idea.
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