Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Egg Drop Experiment (Newton's First Law of Motion)

It's been awhile since I've had my boys in utter and total awe. This experiment did it, though. 

We learned about Sir Isaac Newton's First Law of Motion - the one that states a stationary object will stay stationary unless something puts it into motion and an object in motion will stay in motion until something stops it. 

This all sounds pretty abstract, right?

To show my boys what Newton was talking about, we grabbed the following supplies to conduct a quick experiment.

Tall drinking glass, 3/4 full of water
Metal pie plate
Empty cardboard toilet paper tube

I had my son's line up the objects, placing the pie plate on top of the water glass, the tube in the middle of it, and an egg resting on the top of the tube.

Now I asked, "What do you think will happen if I smack the side of this pie plate?"

Both of them looked at me like I was crazy. Their hypothesis was that I was going to break the glass, spill the water, and crack the egg because everything would fall over.

So I smacked it hard. And guess what? The pie plate and cardboard roll fell away and the egg dropped directly down into the glass of water; it didn't even crack!

Now they each took turns. The experiment still captured their attention and amazement after five times!

As Newton's Law tells us, the egg doesn't topple over because it isn't forced to move the way the pie plate and cardboard roll (which catches the edge of the pan as it's shoved out of the way) are. Instead of being pushed to the side, it merely drops straight down when forced to move by gravity.

Want to learn more about Isaac Newton? Check out these books!

This experiment came from Steve Spangler Science. Check it out!


  1. Looking forward to doing this one with the kids soon!

  2. Ha! This looks like fun! Thanks so much for sharing. I will need to do this with my little guy.

  3. What a blast! We need to give this one a try!