Prior to spring break, the entire student body at Alafia Elementary School went together to watch the egg drop, a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) competition.
In her first year at the school, AGP teacher Amy Monteiro brought the contest to Alafia. She had sponsored the event previously at Lopez Elementary School, where she taught for the last 20 years.
According to Monteiro, “The students must create a free-falling container that will protect a raw egg, which will be dropped from increasing heights.”
Students in grades 3-5 were invited to create individual containers, and in grades K-2 each class made one together.
This project takes critical thinking, but for the elementary crowd, there is nothing more exciting than watching your eggs drop in the hopes that they will not break. About 115 students participated, and each container was unique and well thought out.
The dimensions could not exceed 1 cubic foot in volume, and students had to follow the rules provided for putting their containers together. Prior to the competition, Monteiro checked each container to be sure they met the requirements.
On the day of the competition, the students reported to grade-level tables to receive their eggs, then place their containers in the drop zone and watch as a TECO bucket truck dropped them from heights starting at 15 feet. If the egg survived, the students moved to the second drop zone and onto greater heights.
As the morning progressed, you could feel the excitement of the students watching as the bucket height increased and eggs survived the fall.
In the end, 30 winners received a prize. Awards were given for the surviving eggs as well as for containers using the best application of science, most creative, most complex, most spectacular splat, loudest landing, smallest and largest successful container, best container name, most school spirit and for slowest descending container.
“The idea of the competition is to promote STEM-based conversation and experimentation. Just a fun way to get hooked on STEM,” said Monteiro.
Alafia Elementary School is located at 3535 Culbreath Rd. in Valrico. Call 813-744-8190 for more information.