PCY: PCY Accepts the Egg Drop Challenge!

Thanks to STEAM, PCY students are walk'n on eggs, instead of eggshells. At the most recent STEAM sponsored event, students participated in an egg drop and an egg walk, both demonstrating principles of physics and fun!

STEAM is a program that explores science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics, and most importantly how they all work together. The STEAM program at PCY offers many interesting opportunities for students to apply science outside their daily classrooms, such as Science Exploration Classes, Science Night Out, Robotics, Future Coders, Math Olympiad, and several engaging field trips, from whale watching to touring the Endeavor space shuttle!

A total of eighty-one students signed up in advance for the event. Two weeks before the big day, everyone received a specialized kit of materials to use to build a contraption that would  protect their egg from the impact of being dropped from the PCY outdoor stage. Students and their families were able to design, test, and modify their “engineering solutions,” also called buffers, at home before the ultimate showdown.

Kits included: straws, chopsticks, skewers, rubber bands, tape, string, card stock, cups, a dishcloth, and two plastic bags.

Students lined up onstage according to their grade level and what category of engineering solution they built. Most projects fell within the categories of parachute use, crash impact analysis, and crash pad structure. PCY staff along with families and friends of the students gathered around to observe the results.

STEAM Chair Nina Ries, along with STEAM Leaders Shanti Rao, and Martha Kirouac, were nearby helping students prepare for the drop and seeing which eggs survived without a crack. “Whether they realized it or not, they learned a lot about engineering, physics, gravity, the importance of trial and error, and making modifications,” noted Ms. Ries.

With her goal being to find ways to engage all students, from first grade to sixth grade and to optimize the kits to provide a minimum of twelve viable designs for the students to try, Ms. Ries dedicated much of the last few months to researching and planning the event.  ”I also want to maximize both the fun and the education,” she shared, “I think we were able to do both.”

One of the most important lessons this team hoped these students would learn was summed up by Ms. Kirouac, “Don’t hold on to any one idea too tight. Have a little resilience in your ability to manipulate a project, to make modifications as needed.”

After the egg drop, students were invited to take off their shoes and step onto two cartons of eggs, assisted by Ms. Ries, “A few were tentative about the egg walk. Everyone was really excited about that, a lot were curious to see if it would work.” With many big smiles and some surprised looks, students were delighted to see that with balanced weight, the eggs didn’t break, even after several students stood on the same two cartons.

While this was the last STEAM event for 2016/17, the PTA of PCY is already planning a plethora of exciting activities for next year!

All students at PCY are welcome to sign-up for STEAM. Upcoming events and details are posted at pcypta.org and emails and announcements are sent through Cougar Tracks.