Who – or What – Cracked Under the Pressure of Lincoln Egg Drop

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A ladder positioned 100 feet in the air hovers over a bucket of entries to the annual Lincoln egg drop.


red bucket filled to the brim with projects wrapped in varying craft supplies was hoisted by a rope 100 feet into the air. Children squinted up at the bright sky to watch as a firefighter, standing at the top of the ladder, chose a packaged box from the tub then dropped it down to the earth below.

It met the concrete with a thud. Egg yolk seeped onto the ground.

It was the 39th annual egg drop at Lincoln Elementary School, an event that was held on Friday when students were challenged to create a project that allows an egg to survive a drop from the top of a 100-foot ladder provided by the Glendale Fire Dept. Students and their families came to the campus to see which of the submissions would withstand the fall.

The annual egg drop is an experiment that weaves science and creativity that is held at many schools across the United States. In creating their projects, students are taught about the relationship between force and momentum – even if they’re too young to realize it. The most successful projects were the ones that managed to slow down the rate of speed of the dropping eggs that also surrounded the eggs with material to absorb the force of the fall.

Mary Ellen Miller, the organizer of the event, said that she took over coordinating the egg drop 12 years ago to keep the school tradition going.

“I just think it’s a great thing to do with [students’] parents. It’s something they can do without TV and electronics,” she said. “It promotes community and Lincoln spirit.”

She said her favorite creation this year was a project shaped like a rocket, which won the best engineering category.

There were about 11 buckets filled with submissions and a wide variety of designs. Eggs were put in cardboard boxes, stuffed inside toys, decorated with ribbons and more. Many of them were designed to look like lions, the school’s mascot.

“This is the first family event of the year and allows every kid to work with their families to create something they couldn’t do by themselves,” said Barbara Fariss, principal of Lincoln Elementary School. “It allows for all that collaborative learning we work on in school to go into the home.”

This year’s event was well attended by students and their families, many of whom have been participating in the competition for years and even generations. Alan Medzoyan, whose two sons participated in the event, said they’ve been attending the egg drop for the past three years.

“It has a nice science background to it … so we tried a couple things at home that we tested out,” he said. “It’s a fun process.”

Kellan Medzoyan, 6, said that he entered the competition hoping to win and had a lot of fun creating his project. His egg, which survived the fall, was wrapped in a sponge and put inside a box.

This was the first year many participants entered the competition.

“It’s our first year (participating) and my 5-year-old made an egg contraption, so we wanted to see if it survived,” said Tina Morstad, whose daughter participated in the egg drop. “It’s just a foam ball with an egg inside it.” 

Frankie Morstad, 5, said that her favorite part of making the project was decorating her egg with a drawing of her walking a unicorn.

“Ours is the best, it’s like a foam ball,” she said. “We tested it off our balcony and it survived.”

By the end of the event, blotches of egg yolk had dried on the pavement of the schoolyard. Some children went home with their eggs whole, while other eggs had cracked under the pressure. Despite either outcome, most left with a feeling of satisfaction for a job well-done.