The principles of engineering classes and the honors engineering class were tasked to create a package that would protect an egg from breaking after being dropped from the football stadium stands. A real life application helped give the egg drop challenge a new meaning and purpose.
The following memo came from a made-up company to help set up the project:
Recently, there have been far too many complaints about Part No. 2001A5 being damaged during shipping. Replacement costs for this product are having a negative economic impact on our company. Preliminary tests have shown that a package that will keep an egg from breaking (i.e. there must be no visible cracks in the egg shell) when dropped from the fourth floor balcony of our building will be sufficient to prevent damage to the part during shipping and handling. Therefore, you are to design a package that will accomplish this task. Due to the seriousness of this problem, this design must be completed in two weeks.
This package must be made from commonly available material. To reduce shipping costs, this package must be as lightweight as possible. The package must also be as small in size as possible. Finally, the package must be of a regular shape, suitable for stacking and packaging in a larger carton.
The classes were able to utilize their new exposure of the design process loop to work together as a team to come up with possible solutions and then ultimately pick a design to create, test and tweak.