As well as being a kind of chinese soup, the Egg Drop is a class of engineering contests frequently used in high school science classes, summer camps, and Science Olympiad meets. There are many variations, but all involve dropping an uncooked egg and keeping it from breaking. Here's a list of egg drop events I've participated in at Science Olympiad meets, with their rules, as I remember them. If anyone can point me to the official rules anywhere, that'd be cool:
Construct a container to house and protect an uncooked egg. The container will be dropped from a certain height and judged by how close they land to a target. Any breakage or cracking of the egg automatically drops you below any teams who successfully protected their egg. You have a limited set of materials with which to construct your container (from memory):
The scene from Apollo 13 where the aerospace engineers have to make an air filter adapter out of random NASA junk brought back flashbacks of this event. My contraption, a big spikey thing with straws sticking out all over and held together with masking tape and rubber banks, worked quite well.
Naked Egg Drop
Construct a container designed to catch and protect an egg dropped from varying heights (2-5 stories!). Some competitions are judged by the bounding cube volume of your container, others by the maximum height of the container. You can use basically any materials, although some competitions stipulate that wet or liquid materials are illegal. Obviously, it is essential that you don't miss. Hence, teams are allowed to use a plumb bob attached to a frame to position their containers, and glue a thread harness to the egg. The harness would be hung from the same hook as the plumb line, and the thread burned through to release the egg straight down.
My device was a small box filled with pieces of cellulose sponge and tissue paper, with a cardboard trap on top to keep the egg from bouncing out. It worked pretty well but wasn't as small as it could be. This event has been pretty much solved, since people have discovered certain materials can cushion an egg very well even though they are less than 1/2 inch thick. These include: hard modeling styrofoam (the real hard stuff that makes crunchy indentations, not just the stuff that is used for shipping) and alternating layers of rubber sheeting and bubble wrap. You may not believe me, but I've seen it with my own eyes. Astonishing really, that a 1/2 inch thick piece of styrofoam can cushion an egg dropped from 5 stories. Of course the egg bounces crazily; I've seen people use strips of duct tape, sticky-side up to keep it from bouncing around. At the state meet, somebody used peanut butter and would have won hands down, except that peanut butter was ruled to be a liquid and the team was disqualified.
Bungee Egg Drop
Make a harness for an egg, attached to an elastic cord. The egg is to be dropped from arbitrary heights between 10 and 50 feet, and the cord must stretch to at least 133% of it's original length. Teams should mark the cord so they can tell where to attach it from a certain height. Judging is based on how close the egg can come to the bottom, usually a pit of sand, without breaking. For teams that can touch the sand without breaking, the smallest indentation wins. Video recordings are made against a ruler behind the egg to rank those who do not touch the sand.