Students from all three Bexley elementary schools spent the morning of Sept. 24 dropping eggs from the third floor of the Cassingham Complex.

Students from all three Bexley elementary schools spent the morning of Sept. 24 dropping eggs from the third floor of the Cassingham Complex.

The egg-dropping exercise was part of the school district's STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) initiative.

Fifth-graders spent the last three weeks working in teams designing a carrier that could safely transport an egg from the third floor to the ground. Students had to design, test and revise construction of their carriers.

The students worked in teams to design a device that would protect a large egg from breaking when it was dropped. The container had to be less than 1,800 cubic centimeters in volume and have no single dimension longer than 25 centimeters.

For materials students were allowed to choose from paper and plastic grocery bags, paper towels, masking tape, poster board/cardboard, toilet paper rolls and newspapers.

"When they got the list of supplies they were not pleased," said Cassingham teacher Sara Resek. "The list of materials frustrated them."

Resek said the idea was to bring items in from home and recycle materials so there would be no cost to the assignment.

Trey Asensio said his team's egg carrier had two layers of padding on each side of the box and one layer of padding on the top and bottom. For the first run, they didn't use toilet paper inside the box but taped the lid down. After students added the toilet paper, the egg survived its trial runs.

"We had Styrofoam and (packing) peanuts on every side," he said. "When we dropped it from the first floor it broke."

To cushion her egg, Anne Tobin used plastic bags filled with packing peanuts. Students did not tape the lid down so on the second trip the egg fell out of the box. They added a second lid to keep the egg in the box.

The carrier Grant Robinson's team started at school was thin and long and offered air resistance, slowing the rate of fall. But the box went over the volume limits so students had to work at home. When they decreased the size of the box, there wasn't enough cushioning for the egg to survive.

Madison Brown's group also worked at a student's home because the box went over the volume requirement and the group had to remodel their design. The box was filled with newspaper and plastic bags.

"We had to fix the top and bottom and make it smaller," she said.

Grace Hunley's team learned all about redesigning. When the team dropped its egg the first time, it cracked. Students added plastic bags inside the box to keep the egg from cracking.

"We tried it four times," she said. "It worked. We did not crack the egg."

Jacob Levin's egg carrier worked fine when dropped from the first floor. The carrier had a door that opened when students dropped it from the third floor for a trial run.

"When we dropped it from the third floor it opened and the egg bounced out," he said.

His egg carrier was constructed of cardboard, plastic bags, toilet paper rolls, paper towels, masking tape and paper towels.

He also had an issue with size. The first egg carrier had to be redesigned.

Jacob Russell's first design used newspapers for cushions but the egg cracked, he said, so students added plastic bags, egg cartons, Styrofoam and a cardboard bottom.

"When we dropped it from the third floor, it floated down," he said.

One important lesson students learned from the project was how to share ideas, Resek said. They learned they didn't have to come up with their own product but could take the best ideas from other projects.

Students from Cassingham, Montrose and Maryland met at the Cassingham Complex for the exercise.