Project Competition 2022

Parachute Drop

Your team is to build a parachute that will allow an egg to fall 30 feet and not crack plus land near a “drop zone” with a wind blowing from one direction across the stage.  You may use any of the material in your box of supplies to make your parachute.  Do NOT bring anything from home or school to try to aid you in this project including notes or any kind.  You may have a calculator.  There are 2 items that each parachute MUST have in order for your team to compete at the end of the day:

  1. A key ring at the top that a pin will go through.  This key ring should be sewn on.  Use the duct tape to reinforce your parachute so nothing tears in the final competition.
  2. A hook at the bottom of the parachute made from a paperclip.  This is the hook that will hold the baggie which contains the egg.  You will use this hook in your building time to test your parachute with weights in your baggie to resemble the egg.  You will not have an egg to test with.  FYI the eggs you will use weigh approximately 56.699046 grams.

You will be able to test your parachute at a height of 20 feet in the courtyard of the CM building complex.  Your room proctor will show you where to go and there will be faculty in the courtyard to let you know what to do to test your parachute.  Your proctor and other faculty will not be there to help you build the parachute in any way, shape or form.  They will make sure you have your key ring and hook attached and the rest is up to you.  Your team and a team from one other school will share a workroom and there is also a computer you may use for the internet ONLY. 

You may not alter your parachute at any time after it is turned in. Your only variable will be WHERE you drop the egg from. See the score sheet to find out how the project competition will be scored.

Scoring for the Final Parachute Drop

Teams will be dropping their parachute in a random order.

Each team will have 2 minutes to complete two (2) drops. It is necessary to work quickly and calculate where your parachute will be dropped from at a fast pace. You will be given a new egg to hook onto the bottom of your parachute before each drop.

The higher score of the two drops will be your final score. 

Your score is based on hang time (how long it takes the artichoke to reach the ground), distance from the drop zone and whether or not the eggs break.  An egg will be considered broken if a crack is easily seen by the naked eye at a distance of one foot.

All distances from the drop zone are measured from the center of the target on the floor of the stage. 

Scoring will be done according to the following formula: 

t = time in the air in seconds
d = distance from the drop zone center in meters 

The furthest distance from the drop zone an egg may land is 13 m. The square root of 13 is approximately 3.6. 

If your egg doesn’t break 10% will be added to your score.


Dr. Aaron Jesse
Mathematics Faculty