How to Win Your Physics Class Egg Drop Competition

The problem is simple enough. You’ve got a raw egg, and it’s going to be dropped from a high place. You have to build a contraption so that it doesn’t break when it hits. Easy? Maybe. But how do you make it as light as possible? Or as small as possible?

These questions have had high school physics students pulling all-nighters for decades. Luckily for the generations to come, our good friend former NASA engineer Mark Rober is here to enlighten you. Just like with his Pinewood Derby video, he not only shows you some of the best systems for winning (depending on what the rules of your particular contest consist of), but it breaks down the science of exactly how each one works. Not only will this help you sound smart when your teacher asks you how you came up with it, but hopefully it will inspire you to try something original that’s based on these principles.

Personally, I don’t have any kids in high school, nor am I likely to be entering an egg drop contest anytime soon, and yet I was absolutely glued to this video. I don’t know what I’m going to do with this knowledge, but it’s probably going to be something fun. And I trust that these solutions will work. If he can safely land a rover on Mars then he can safely land an egg on the ground, okay? [Mark Rober]

Share This Story

Get our newsletter


Admiral Asskicker

Restriction for my highschool eggdrop: Only use toothpicks and glue.

The point: Create a crash structure lattice to reduce the deceleration, by increasing the time interval.


My Method: Took about 4000 toothpicks, put them into a blender (not all at one). Proceeded to blend toothpicks into a fine dust. Took about 2 gallons of glue, poured out onto cookie trays and set to dry. Cut the dry sheets into six squares. Assemble 5 squares into open face box. Fill box half way with toothpick dust. Place egg into half filled cube. Fill rest of cube. Seal with last glue square.

Result: Victory! Compact and somewhat reusable. Points removed for excessive use of resources.