CIS students test designs to keep egg safe

Published 3:39 pm Wednesday, March 7, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Students look on as their cars go through the crash test.

Did the egg crack?

That was the question on fourth-grade students’ minds as vehicle designs were tested in Project Lead the Way class at Clanton Intermediate School.

Students designed and built vehicles to keep a raw egg from cracking when the vehicle rolled down a ramp and hit the wall.

VEX IQ plastic building pieces, cotton balls, pipe cleaners, plastic wrap, bubble wrap and rubber bands were the only materials they could use to build the vehicle and protect the egg.

“We started out with the potential and kinetic energies and how they work, and how that is included in a seatbelt,” PLTW teacher Blake Maddox said. “We went back to the history of restraint systems in the seatbelt, how they were made, who made them, what their purpose was.”

Similar concepts were used in the vehicles the teams designed. Maddox said students practiced using plastic eggs to hone the design before using a real egg.

To make it to the next round of testing, the egg had to remain intact, but the vehicle could sustain damage.

“They can reassemble the vehicle if a wheel comes off or something like that, but they cannot add any more padding or any more restraints once they commit to it the first time,” Maddox said.

With each round, the ramp was made steeper until it was almost completely vertical.

Students in Tiffany Lockhart’s class surprised Maddox by having three designs make it through six rounds. He said previously classes had only made it to three.

Maddox said Lockhart’s class used more cushioning and had better weight balance in their designs.

Some unbalanced designs had caused the car to tip over and crack the egg.

Carson Boehm said his team used a cotton ball behind the plastic front of the vehicle to cushion the impact.  Teammate Addison Fanning said otherwise the egg would hit the plastic and could break. Teammate Luke Stoneback also added cotton underneath the egg to cushion it.

Teammate Kinlee Rhodes said she enjoyed “having fun with my friends and building stuff.”

The team was fairly certain the egg would survive in their car, and it did for a few rounds.

Meanwhile, Jameson Perrett and his teammates had built walls on every side of their vehicle to keep the egg in place.

“What I like most is that we worked together, and that we get to have fun,” Perrett said.

Teammate Tashionna Robinson said rubber bands and bubble wrap were also used to keep the egg in place.

Angeleah Tilley and her teammates put their egg in the back of their vehicle with a long front in order to protect the egg.

“This was a group effort,” she said. “We thought there should be a stopper to keep the egg from getting destroyed … then we wrapped it in plastic wrap, rubber bands and cotton balls.”

She said it was important to put just enough of these materials because too much could put extra pressure on the egg.

Tiley said she and her teammates were nervous about the test, so they prayed and hoped for the best.

Their vehicle protected the egg for two rounds of tests.

Dalton Tirk’s team had long narrow “arms” extending beyond the front of the vehicle. While this design worked for a few rounds, in the end, the arms flipped the car upwards crashing it into the wall and cracked the egg.

Project Lead the Way brings engineering concepts to classes in elementary grades through high school.