January…… the month filled with exams, assignments and inherently, STRESSSSSS (definitely not something we want to start off the year). In light of that, IET USMC On Campus, in collaboration with IMechE USMC, organized The Great Egg Challenge in hopes to help everyone loosen up a bit and have fun (even if it’s just for a brief moment T.T ).
I myself was one of the organizers, but even so, I managed to have lots of fun organizing and hosting the event! The event, as the name implies, involves passing multiple challenges involving eggs. There were three challenges in total – “The Egg Drop”, “The Egg Parachute”, and “The Egg Slide”, with each challenge being more daunting than the last.
In each of these challenges, the participants had to apply their engineering knowledge to ensure that their eggs successfully pass the challenges unharmed. Every group was given 40 minutes and the same set of materials to customize their eggs (1 egg per challenge). Though it may sound easy at first, but it involves a lot more than just wrapping the eggs in paper to form a cushion, tying a plastic bag to the egg to form a parachute or just letting the egg go down a slide. The participants had to make use of the limited amount of materials given to them for all three challenges and also take the weight and size of their customized egg into account, especially for the egg slide.
Once all the preparations were done, we started with the egg drop, whereby each group had to drop their customized eggs from the second floor of the building without shattering or cracking it. There were some really unconventional designs, one group gave their egg wheels whereas another used straws to form an hourglass structure, but most people (unsurprisingly) just wrapped their eggs in as much newspaper they can get their hands on and sealed it in place with layers upon layers of tape. But despite the differences in designs, most teams were egg-cellent and managed to pass this challenge with ease.
Moving on was the egg parachute challenge. For this challenge, each group had to drop their eggs from the 4th floor of the building, but this time, only relying on a parachute and a bit of cushion to save their fragile eggs. This challenge was certainly much more difficult than the first as only a few groups managed to successfully deploy their parachutes. Regardless of succeeding or failing, this was way more egg-citing and interesting to watch.
Next was the most difficult challenge of them all, even though it seems like the easiest. At first glance, it seemed as if rolling an egg wrapped in newspaper down the slide would be sufficient. However, the egg slide was designed such that the egg will only slide down to the finish point if there wasn’t too much friction between the two surfaces, so the groups had to make sure the materials they used to cushion the egg doesn’t have a large kinetic friction (wow, I actually got to apply some terminology I learned in class) and the egg is shaped uniformly so it rolls straight and not off the sides to its death. Furthermore, they also had to ensure that the egg is small but heavy enough so that it can pass the pinwheel at the end of the obstacle, and also durable enough to withstand the impact of the fall after it passes the pinwheel. (Whewww, that’s a lot to look out for!) In the end, only one group managed to pass this grueling obstacle!
Finally, the marks from each group were added up and the award ceremony commenced. Team Eggtart emerged victorious and bagged first place whereas Team How To Basic came short of a few points and obtained second. After the event, everyone celebrated by eating the leftover eggs (those that didn’t shatter to a million pieces) and like any other event, we took a group photo to commemorate the event.
To me, this was certainly a great way to start the year as I had fun throughout this event, whether it was during the organization process with the other committee members or engaging with the participants during the event itself. Of course, this was only the first IET USMC On Campus event of the year and there are a lot more to come.
Photo courtesy of Zhoriif Shamsudin from the Photography Club