What makes for a soft landing?

The Basic Idea

Children investigate which materials can be used to cushion a fall. What structures can be used/combined with above materials for the same purpose.

They test this by dropping an egg held with their structure/material and seeing if the egg breaks.

The egg could be swapped for a water balloon.

In more detail…

Discuss nests- the shape of them and their structure. Why do they need to be the way they are? What would happen if they were flat?

Look at an egg box and its design. It does protect eggs, but it doesn’t always stop them breaking! Especially from a height.

Discuss what materials could be found and used to soften the egg’s/water balloon’s landing. Create some ground rules for all groups to follow- e.g. using living plants/flowers etc.

Get the children to consider how the different materials could be incorporated into a structure they make- using sticks and twine to make a box/ ‘splint’ for the egg/water balloon or something similar.

Once the children have been given enough time to create their ‘droppable nests’, they are then asked to drop them from a given height one by one.

Which egg/water balloon survived?

Increase the height until it’s the ‘last egg standing’!


How to take it even further or make it more challenging

Children could be given a set amount of materials and then it is down to the structure/build method that they use that affects their ‘soft landing’.