Students gathered outside Reed Intermediate School under a late morning sun on Wednesday, July 30, clutching objects of different shapes to their chests.
Each object contained a raw egg, somewhere in the depths of a combination of bubble wrap, elastic bands, poster board, garbage bags, wood, masking tape, plastic, or other household products.
Newtown Continuing Education “Design It, Build It, Launch It” camp instructor Rick Lowry explained to Newtown Hook & Ladder Company #1’s Mike McCarthy and Ray Corbo that each of the objects were to be dropped from the company’s ladder truck to see whether the eggs would be kept from breaking.
The campers had come up with the designs themselves. One had poster board wings spreading away from an egg carton. Another, created by Owen Reinhart, was called “The Balloon Animal.”
Mr Lowry warned Mr McCarthy, who pulled the contraptions up the ladder in a bag, that each had to be dropped correctly. One came with “this side up” instructions.
Newtown Continuing Education Director Elissa Gellis stood by, along with a number of other camp and summer school attendees and instructors, to watch with the Design It, Build It, Launch It students as Mr McCarthy dropped each of the egg containers to the pavement from the 90-foot height of the ladder.
Ms Gellis said this was the first summer the Design It, Build It, Launch It engineering camp was offered.
“And the first time we have done anything like this,” said Ms Gellis, craning her neck up to watch the proceedings.
The Design It, Build It, Launch It camp is geared toward upper elementary and middle school students who enjoy both engineering and physics. Students in the program learned about machines such as catapults and trebuchets by building and testing them. Students also explored modern inventions such as rockets and hovercrafts along with the “egg drop,” according to Newtown Continuing Education.
The camp was offered over two sessions. Some students, Ms Gellis said, attended both sessions.
The first egg to drop on Wednesday was Milan Chand’s and, after inspection, Milan held his unbroken egg up proudly.
As Mr McCarthy dropped each bundle, students, teachers, and Mr Corbo watched. Once a solid bang was heard, students ran up to inspect whether the eggs were whole.
“The egg survived!” one student yelled after one drop. Another responded with, “I told you.”
Cheers went up for each egg, as all 12 of the eggs stayed intact, with a small crack visible on one egg.
Further information about Newtown Continuing Education is on the school district’s main website, www.newtown.k12.ct.us.