UAB’s Egg Drop at Vulcan Park

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Kenna Tuttle and Bella Ballew, students from Isabella High in Chilton County, show off their successful design.

Scroll to the end of the article to see video interviews with Kenna and Bella!

Over five hundred central Alabama students’ individually engineered contraptions headed to the top of Vulcan on Red Mountain on Friday, April 7, to participate in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s 28th Annual Brent Newman Egg Drop Competition.

 

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Egg containers were released one by one from the observation deck, after being tethered to a guide wire (to prevent packages from blowing away in the wind.)

Students from local Alabama elementary, middle and high schools watched eggs protected by their personally designed contraptions be dropped from Vulcan. The goal is for a participant’s contraption to prevent the egg from breaking after the approximately 100-foot drop.

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Engineering teams wait at the drop point to see their contraptions tested.

Students must use approved materials to design their contraption, which must fit in a container no larger than 2 feet on a side (older students must meet smaller dimension requirements). There are no design restrictions. Students are judged on engineering thought and creativity, mass of the apparatus and the ease with which the egg is loaded into the apparatus. Over one hundred ninety devices were entered into this year’s competition.  The winning teams came from the following schools –  Creekview for elementary and overall, Bumpus for middle school and LeCroy STEM for High School and biggest splat award!

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Each container is opened and checked after impact.

The event began in 1989 to promote engineering education and inspire the next generation of Alabama engineers.  The contest is sponsored and managed by the UAB School of Engineering chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

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An egg that survived the fall! (There weren’t many.)
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Look closely for the device in mid-drop.
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Drop zone carnage
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Egg contraptions wait their turn at the observation deck drop point.
Each egg container is opened as it reaches the bottom, to check for egg breakage.
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Packages are checked as they reach the landing zone to record the team’s number and result.
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David Long, who will be a senior in the school of engineering next year, helping a young student at one of the many interactive learning stations.

Members of the the Society of Women Engineers, the American Foundry Society and the UAB School of Engineering presented hands-on lessons and engineering lessons to students as they awaited their drop times.

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Whole families joined in the learning at engineering and problem solving stations.

Thanks to Katherine Liles Shonesy, UAB Media Specialist and Melissa Dooley of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers for contest and event information.

 

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Watch Kenna Tuttle explain the excitement of the drop!

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Bella Ballew explains the design of their contraption.