There are, of course, a variety of ways to drop an egg
off a building, but I think that the format used in my high school
was somewhat more orthodox
than that described by 3Suns
in his writeup (I base this on witnessing and hearing about various high school
drops) so I will present it here for general edification:
- Any materials may be used, but no aerodynamic aids (parachutes, wings, etc.) are allowed.
- There are four rounds of increasing height. All containers that have at least one egg survive the first drop are advanced to the next round.
- No part of the container or packaging may be replaced between drops.
- Any number of eggs may be placed in a container and scoring is based on the percentage of eggs that survive. Thus a if only one egg is dropped but it survives(100%), that container will beat one in which five eggs are dropped and four survive(80%).
- In the case of a tie (very common, considering almost everyone drops only one egg), the lightest container will be declared the winner.
So, in short, the goal is to build the lightest possible container to survive four drops of increasing height, the highest of which was about 40 feet.
On a personal note, my design was to wrap one egg in one layer of soft foam wrap (the kind large electronic devices often come wrapped in), place this inside a hollowed-out cube of styrofoam, insert a number of toothpicks into the styrofoam to absorb the impact by either breaking or being driven deeper into the styrofoam (they were placed so as not to intersect the egg), and finally wrap the whole spikey thing again in soft foam wrap. This last step greatly increased the surface area and thus skirted the no-aerodynamic-aids rule, but was allowed in as it had shock-absorbing value as well. It won, was the lightest design in five years and, if memory serves, the second-lightest ever.
The lightest design ever was shockingly simple: a Tylenol box, just large enough to hold the egg, padded inside with a couple centimeters of soft styrofoam and tissue paper. It was kept by the school physics teacher and passed around with reverence each year the day after the egg drop.