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Eggstacle Course

This exploration is designed to test the students’ problem-solving skills, as well as their capacity for teamwork. Eggs are a great size for mini obstacle courses. There is also the extra “danger” factor of breaking the shell during the activity.

When trying to come up with solutions in a team environment, certain brainstorming principles and rules should be reviewed with the students. Stress that great ideas will surface in a non-judgmental and encouraging atmosphere.

Brainstorming Principles and Rules

  1. Postpone and withhold your judgement of ideas.
  2. Encourage wild and exaggerated ideas.
  3. Quantity of ideas count at this stage, not quality.
  4. Build on the ideas put forward by others.
  5. Every person and every idea has equal worth

Brainstorming Principles and Rules are courtesy of Infinite Innovations Ltd (1999). All rights reserved. 

Objectives

  • Demonstrate curiosity and show inventiveness.

  • Brainstorm in a team to generate ideas.

  • Use problem-solving strategies in building simple structures.

  • Analyze various forces affecting each obstacle and generating ways to overcome them.

Materials

  • Per Group:
    Team planning sheets
    Team materials bags
    5 small signs indicating the obstacle type
    25 cm ramp (book, sheet of wood, poster board, etc.)
    2 tables
    30 cm tube, at least 5 cm in diameter
    plastic sheet under each obstacle (optional)

Key Questions

  • What would you do differently next time?
  • Were your teammates always in agreement on how to approach the obstacles?
  • How did you resolve any conflicts?

What To Do

Preparation

  1. Make up signs for each station and set up throughout the classroom.
  2. Print Team Planning Sheets.
  3. Set up the obstacle course using a series of tables and chairs:
  • Along flat surface: move the egg 40 cm on a flat surface.
  • Pass through a tube: move the egg through a tube that is 5 cm or larger in diameter, 30 cm long.
  • Over a space: move the egg across a 60 cm space between two tables or chairs.
  • Down a ramp: the egg must be taken down a 25 cm long ramp. One end of the ramp is raised 10 cm.
  • Table to floor: the egg must be moved from the top of a 75 cm or higher table to the floor. The egg cannot be dropped or parachuted. The hand of the student involved in completing the obstacle cannot go past the top of the table

Exploration

  1. Group the students into teams of ~5.
  2. Give each team their materials.
  3. Walk through each obstacle beforehand so that they understand what is expected.
  4. Explain the rules:
  • You have been provided with materials to move the egg through the course.
  • You must not touch the egg, but can carry it in/on/with something.
  • You have 5 minutes to complete as many obstacles as possible.
  • You may talk or work as you wish.
  • Each team member may select from the items given. Only one member may use an item. You cannot use items and pass them to someone else when you are finished.
  • A different team member must move the egg for each obstacle.
  • If the egg breaks or cracks, the team must stop at that point.
  • Each team will receive 20 points for each obstacle successfully completed. You may do the obstacles in any order.
  1. Give students 30 minutes to brainstorm their strategies. Encourage them to follow basic brainstorming principles and rules.

Teacher tips 
If raw egg mess is a concern, use plastic sheeting covers on and around the tables. Another alternative is to hard-boil the eggs, but tell the students that they are raw.

Extensions

  • Set up a larger obstacle course outside.