Today, 57 fourth and fifth grade students from the John Winthrop Elementary School visited Northeastern University to learn about Engineering. After an introduction on what engineering means, the students designed and built devices to protect an egg from a 15 foot drop (Egg Drop). The best designs used a combination of shock absorbing paper cones and balloons/plastic sheets to slow the fall. Of the 26 groups, 5 eggs survived the initial drop, with a further 2 surviving the 25 foot drop.
During lunch, the students learned about the various branches of Engineering, with examples of what each kind of engineer actually does. After lunch, the students designed and built various catapults out of Popsicle sticks, rubber bands, plastic spoons, and duct tape. The catapults were awarded points based on distance launched (paper projectiles) as well as accuracy and precision. There were a wide variety of designs, such as torsion machines, onagers, and ballistas, with launches going as far as 15 feet.