Fort Benning, GA | October 11, 2012
Fourth-grader Hailey Murphy thought it was “gross” to dig around a peanut butter jar to retrieve her egg — which survived the more than nine-foot drop. Though, when asked if she would do it again, she said she would.
Hailey was one of many students at Wilson Elementary School to participate in Wilson’s Great Egg Drop Thursday, an activity to get students focused on and interested in the sciences as part of the national Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program.
It’s an effort to get students to be more engaged in the sciences — the science, technology, engineering — things that we don’t start them very young but in a lot of countries they do,” said Renee Mallory, principal of Wilson Elementary School.
Recently, Mallory said, arts were added to the equation — to emphasize the use of creativity in each subject. Mallory said Fort Benning school principals had to undergo there own STEM experiment before school began by building bridges out of materials such as straws and even paper.
“This is a chance to think outside the box,” She said about the egg drop. ”This is part creativity and part science. The creativity is thinking about all of the different ways you might do it and then the science part is why would a parachute work?”
Many of the contraptions created by the students included the use of balloons, cereal, parachutes made of shopping bags — and even a large can filled with water.
Hailey’s mother, Heather Murphy, attended the egg drop event and said she was proud of her daughter and her other younger siblings who had also participated in the egg drop.
Hailey and her mother put their heads together, Hailey said, and came up with ideas to try. Hailey noticed on a television show the use of peanut butter used to prevent the egg from breaking.
After some tweaking of her peanut butter idea — which included securing the egg in the center of the peanut butter — she dropped the jar from atop of her father’s truck and the egg didn’t break. This led to the successful recreation that followed at school.
“The importance for the students is that they, at a younger age, get exposed to the scientific method, coming up with a hypothesis and realizing that if you tie all of these different things in education together you can accomplish something that is pretty cool,” said Sgt. 1st Class Corey Prather from 2nd Battalion, 11th Infantry Regiment.
It was fun to participate with the students, Prather said.
“I personally feel it’s important that kids see there are adults out there who are willing to come and have fun and help them out and are interested in their education,” Prather said.