The Egg Car Challenge

For our school’s physics class, we are currently learning about momentum, impulses, and the effects of momentum/impulses during car crashes. Our teacher created a project for us where we create an egg car, or in other words, a crash simulation. Our task is to create the egg car that can prevent the egg from cracking during a collision. The reason we chose an egg instead of anything else is because of how fragile an egg is, which is a very good example of how a person is like during a car crash, which is fragile. We learned about how the momentum of cars during car crashes would have killed you, if it weren’t for safety features added to cars. For example, the articles we read, “Crumple Zones”, “Air bags”, “Seat belts”, and “Size and Weight” told us about different safety features added on cars to lessen the chance of anything fatal happening to the passenger. On the article, “Crumple Zones”, I got the idea of creating my own crumple zone, which breaks part of the car so the collision does not cause as much damage as it’s supposed to. With these articles, we are able to take them and apply it to the cars we will be designing to prevent the car from cracking. Along with this are construction constraints telling us the limits of how the car must be designed.

Egg car construction Constraints:

  • car must use at least two safety features grounded in evidence from the readings
  • Car must be no more that 8 inches on any side
  • Car must be able to roll smoothly(not slide) down the ramp
  • Car must have an easily accessible seat for an egg. The egg must be able to sit upright, and quickly and easily get in and out
  • Standard raw, large eggs will be provided – do NOT bring eggs to school
  • Car cannot contain any materials that could shatter into sharp pieces during the crash test(such as glass).
  • Car must be ready for competition by the beginning of physics class on The 4th day of the month of May, in the year two thousand fifteen.

Along with the constructing a car, we will need to submit a report that includes:

  • descriptions and documentation of your design process
  • research on car safety features and other characteristics of modern cars
  • qualitative and quantitative analysis of car’s motion, forces, and changes in momentum before, during and after the crash test collision.

On certain days during physics and CTE(also known as making class) we will be receiving time to work on our egg car. As for CTE however, it is optional to work on it because of another project we have to work on. There will be a few materials we need for this project. Although a portion of the materials we will need will be provided, a larger amount will be brought to school by us. It’s optional to share your own materials, but its not recommended so the competition doesn’t get materials that may give you the advantage.

We get a few options when it comes to creating the car. One way is physically, which is hands on and using materials to make it. The other way is by 3D printing with our schools 3D Printer, the H400. By using intel’s Galileo, we are able to design a car virtually. All we would have to do is design it on a 3D designing website like Tinkercad. Tinkercad is one of the many websites used for creating 3D objects and print it on the 3D printer. Websites like these can hopefully grow when 3D printers become more popular in the future.

Our school has a design process, which is known as the 5D’s(Discover, Define, Design, Develop,Deliver). As of today, I am currently on the design stage. Since we discovered what we were doing(Create an egg car), and defined what we were doing(Think about what to create), I am on the stage of designing the car, either physically or virtually.

By doing this project, we can hopefully learn a thing or two about designing overall. With this project, we can also become much better with using the 3D printer, and using technology as an alternative for designing.

A few questions that I have about this project:

  1. Since it was not stated in the egg car constraints, does our creation have to be a car?
  2. Can the 3D printer really create a car that has all the features of an actual one?
  3. If we are able to work together on this project, can the partners give in the same car?
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