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Egg Walk Challenge - Using Plastics to Walk on Eggs

Grades: 6-8
Author: Dave Reber, Mary Harris, Sandy Van Natta
Source: Gene Easter Streetsboro Ohio


Students will design a pair of shoes using plastics that will enable them to walk on eggs without breaking them.


What should students know as a result of this lesson?

  • Design and build a pair of shoes using only plastics. The shoes should be designed so as prevent eggs from breaking as they walk across a several cartons of eggs.

What should the students be able to do as a result of this lesson?

  • Students will create models, build shoes calculate pressure, and apply their knowledge to this problem.
  • Be able to calculate PSI.
  • Be able to collect and analyze data.
  • Be able to share their results with others.


Plastics of various kinds: sheets, cups, plates, etc., dozens of eggs in cartons, (ask each student to bring 1 dozen eggs) tape, razor knives,old shoes, any plastic materials you have available, measuring tape.



Engagement Present the problem: I present the egg walk as a part of my motion unit. The students are to imagine they have landed on an imaginary planet and must develop a pair of shoes to obtain supplies. The surface of this planet has a very brittle thin crust. Students are then told “You are going to build a pair of shoes to walk on eggs using only these materials”. The materials are various types of plastic and tape.

Ask how this problem relates to the real world.

Assessment: Informally monitor the students responses to see if they are logical.


The students should exchange ideas as to how the shoe should look, be made, and who should walk on the eggs. Let the students handle the various plastics to examine properties.The teacher can ask such guiding questions as:

  • Which materials would be best suited to for the project? Why?
  • Are force and pressure the same? (Clarify force and pressure are not the same.)
  • What are other factors you need to consider to be successful? (weight, Surface area, graceful gate, smooth surface, nonsticky bottom)
  • Have the students develop test to determine why they chose certain materials and experiment by walking on eggs. (Eggs remain in the carton spaced approximately 2 feet apart)

Assessment: Review the test and the student generated data to determine important plastic properties.This can be done as an informal observation of students..


Explanation: The students tell the rest of the class why they built the shoe the way they did. Why did they use certain materials and not others?

Assessment: Check for participation of each group member during the discussion. Each member of the group should have a role (a particular piece of research that they are in charge of)

Day 3-2: Students will complete a lab report for homework which will include the data they have collected and conclusions they have drawn from the data.

Assessment: Assessment A rubric can be designed to see if students used the proper terminology and logic to explain their results.

  • Teacher directed instruction:
  • How to calculate
  • PSI Pressure = Force / Area
  • Force = Body Weight
  • Area = is the surface area of the new shoe
  • Collect and check student calculations for assessment of this section.


Ask students “How can this project be extended, what is possible future application?” Assessment Have students design and calculate a shoe for a person of twice their body weight to successfully walk on eggs.

Demonstration None

Direct Instruction The teacher will define relevant terms such as Pressure, and PSI.

Cooperative Learning Students can work in as group of four to design and build the shoes.


Skills Students should have an understanding of pressure and how it is calculated and measuring skills.

Misconceptions Frequently students do not distinguish between pressure and force.

Best Teaching Practices

  • Hands-on/Minds-on Learning
  • Inquiry
  • Authentic Problem-Based Design Problem Solving
  • Student-centered Learning
  • Analogies Questioning

Alignment with Standards

NGSS Standards:

  • MS-PS2-1 Apply Newton's Third Law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects.
  • MS-PS2-2 Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object's motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object.
  • MS-PS3-1 Construct and interpret graphical displays of data to describe the relationships of kinetic energy to the mass of an object and to the speed of an object.

Common Core Standards:

  • RST.6-8.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.
  • RST.6-8.3 Follow precisely a multi-step procedure when carrying our experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.
  • WHST.6-8.2 Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/experiments, or technical processes.

National Standards:

  • Science as Inquiry Content Standard A
  • Physical Setting Content Standard B

Ohio Standards:

  • 4th Grade Describe, illustrate and evaluate the design process used to solve a problem.
  • 5th Grade Revise an existing design used to solve a problem based on peer review
  • 6th to 9th Grade Design and build a product or create a solution to a problem given one constraint(e.g.limits of cost and time for design and production, supply of materials and environmental effects)

Content Knowledge



Students will be using razor knives, and other sharp objects to construct the shoes. The Teacher should provide a cutting area to monitor the number of students in the area.


There are many real life examples dealing with pressure. The following is a short list: walking on ice safely, removing a car from a muddy ditch, SCUBA diving, how snow shoes work, why athletes typically wear cleats, why walking on gravel is so painful as you get bigger.



Other Considerations

Grouping Suggestions: Each student should be given a task or job in the group. One student obtains all the materials, one draws the design, one cuts the materials, and all help assemble.

Pacing/Suggested Time:

  • Two class periods.
  • Day 1 The students are shown the materials from what they have available and must design the shoes. with only those materials in mind.
  • Day 2 The students are to build their shoes to match their design. Once completed the testing begins. Testing can be done in the form of a competition.

Printable PDF Worksheets