Eggs were the main ingredient in a lesson in physics for Edison Intermediate/Middle School eighth-graders last week.

Eggs were the main ingredient in a lesson in physics for Edison Intermediate/Middle School eighth-graders last week.

The students participated in an Eggdrop project, in which they designed and constructed containers they hoped would keep raw eggs from breaking when dropped 24 feet from a hydraulic lift.

On Jan. 25 and 26, the students' devices were put to the test when they were dropped from the lift in the hallway near the middle school commons.

"I was surprised at how many eggs survived," said eighth-grade science teacher Ann Getz.

The students could make their container only out of paper (notebook, Xerox, newspaper, tissue, toilet and/or wax paper), masking tape and string, Getz said.

The devices could not exceed 25 centimeters in any diameter, she said.

Students were also required to draw two diagrams that would show the materials they used, the position and placement of the materials in the Eggdrop and the outside metric measurements of the Eggdrop.

The eighth-grades also had to fill out an application table to explain how the design of their containers applied five physics concepts, including Newton's first, second and third laws of motion, momentum and conservation of momentum and center of gravity, Getz said.

"The more concepts you applied, the more points you could earn," she said.

The Eggdrop project was worth 100 points (a quiz grade) and the scoring was 10 percent for an unbroken egg; 50 percent for originality, creativity and engineering of the container design; 20 percent for the diagrams; and 20 percent for the application table.

"Whether the egg broke or not was the least important factor," Getz said.

The most important aspect of the project was that students demonstrated an understanding and application of the applicable physics concepts, she said.

That may be true, but Joey Gerrick said he was pleased when the egg in his device stayed intact when it hit the hallway floor.

His device included a wheel-like element that helped cushion the egg on impact.

"It took a while to come up with the right design," Gerrick said.

Preston Robson was not so fortunate.

The problem with his device was that it was unbalanced so that it ended up landing on its side rather than on its cushioned bottom, Robson said.

"The bottom of the container would have absorbed the shock of the impact a lot better," he said. "I saw as it was coming down that it wasn't going to land right. When I heard the loud crack of the egg as it landed, I knew the egg didn't survive."

While the container failed to protect the egg, he said, he understands exactly why it failed.

"I would know how to do it differently the next time and the egg wouldn't break," Robson said.

Brendan Fitzgerald had an extra bit of tension added when his circular device hit one of the hydraulic lift's bars before landing on the ground.

Yet his egg stayed intact.

"It didn't sound like it broke, but I wasn't sure until I opened it to see," he said. "I was glad to see the egg was OK."

The outer shell of his device was newspaper he doused in water, let dry, then covered in masking tape.

"I think the key thing about my project was that it was so lightweight," Fitzgerald said. "Some of the other containers were too heavy. I think it also helped that it was round."