Fifth-graders watch a container carrying a raw egg during a yearly egg drop competition held at the Yucca Center, Tuesday morning. Mark Wilson Photo
Gifted fifth-graders of the Roswell Independent School District tried to keep shells from cracking Tuesday during the annual egg drop held at Yucca Recreation Center.
Using mostly ordinary household materials, students collaborated with those from other schools to craft a capsule capable of protecting a raw egg from a fall of up to 45 feet.
The recreation center’s smaller gymnasium echoed with the children’s excitement and determination as they worked in 12 teams of four.
Organizer Margaret Bohlin said the full list of materials were not revealed beforehand to parents or students in order to prevent either from attempting to try it out at home.
“This is team-building, this is problem-solving,” said Bohlin, the gifted teacher at Valley View Elementary. “It involves creative thinking, critical thinking, leadership; this is a truly gifted activity.”
Students were encouraged to experiment with different materials and formations. They practiced the drop twice, from heights of 20 and 30 feet, before the final drop, creating a new vessel each time.
Teams with “surviving” eggs celebrated, cheering, skipping and dancing around. Those that failed didn’t mope — they regrouped to discuss points of improvement.
No matter how successful the trial runs may have been, Bohlin reminded students that as with the recent record-breaking jump of Felix Baumgartner, “the final drop is the one that counts.”
Volunteering his time and equipment, Jerry Ives, service foreman for Xcel Energy, lifted the bucket he usually stands in to check electrical wiring several feet and dropped the eggs in the parking lot.
This was his third year participating. “It’s amazing how these kids come up with these ideas so quick,” he said.
Hunter Beene of Berrendo Elementary and his team were one of eight to “survive” the final fall. Beene, 10, said his team’s strategy was to float the egg to the ground. They used items such as balloons, tape and cottonballs to achieve this.
Once the egg reached the ground soundlessly, team member Shelby Pardo, of Valley View Elementary, shrieked triumphantly.
“I made sure it was triple-protected, so that wherever it landed, it would be safe and sound,” said Pardo, 10.
Each member of the successful teams received awards fashioned of a model egg on a base, labeled “survivor.”