Weekly newspaper of Three Rivers, California, and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks

Three Rivers School students watch with much anticipation as eggs and their contraptions are dropped from an airplane.Isaac Warner, TRUS fourth/fifth-grade teacher, and his Luscombe 8E.An egg with parachute is dropped during a fly-by.

Students hope for over easy, not scrambled during Egg Drop

TRUS teacher takes to the skies for physics lesson
By: 
Sarah Elliott

Students in grades four through eight had their eyes on the sky on Thursday, April 10. They traveled to the Woodlake Airport to take part in the school’s annual Aerial Egg Drop event. 

In previous years, however, the school’s annual Egg Drop project has culminated on the roof of McDowall Auditorium at TRUS. This year posed more of a challenge for the students since TRUS’s fourth/fifth-grade teacher, Isaac Warner, is also a licensed pilot whose Luscombe 8E was the egg-dropping vehicle. He was assisted by another pilot, George Benson of Benson Aviation, based in Woodlake, and his Cessna 172.

The youth were instructed to work individually or in teams to create a cargo container that would allow an uncooked egg to survive a free fall from an airplane. A total of 68 containers were dropped from the two airplanes that were traveling 90 miles per hour and at an altitude of 300 feet (photo, above far left). The hands-on lesson taught students a variety of math and physical science concepts, including volume, mass, force, speed, and gravity.

“Foam packing products seemed to be most successful,” said Katie Rose Warner, Isaac’s wife, who assisted from the ground. “Many containers survived the fall with the help of parachutes, however, some chutes did not deploy, and those eggs did not survive the quicker descent.”

Some of the unsuccessful contraptions included a Pringles chip can with Rice Puffs cereal for padding, an egg covered in Silly Putty in a plastic container, and a jar of creamy peanut butter wrapped in tissue paper.

Radio communication between the two airborne pilots and a pilot on the ground allowed the students to know whose container would be next to take the plunge. Of 68 entries, 28 eggs survived. 

Fourth-grader Jennifer Caldwell was the overall winner of the event. Her surviving egg was in the combined smallest (18 cubic inches) and lightest (24 grams) container. 

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