Egg Drop Tests Engineering Skills

Feb. 23 Event Held During Engineers Week

By: Emily Forshee

An intact egg spells success for entries to the egg drop contest.

In celebration of National Engineers Week, the School of Engineering at Walla Walla University will hold its annual egg drop.

“The egg drop has been a tradition on our campus for about 30 years,” says Don Riley, associate professor of engineering at WWU.  

This year’s event will begin at noon on Thursday, Feb. 23, on Kretschmar Lawn at the campus. Anyone is eligible to enter the contest, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers encourages people of all ages to give it a try. In past years, university students as well as local elementary school students have participated. The rules are simple: Drop, throw, fly, or somehow transport an egg from the roof of Kretschmar Hall to a cast-iron frying pan located on the sidewalk 30 feet below.  

“Each year students apply their creative skills by designing and building entries that range from simple to complex, from entries that can take as little as a few minutes, to the extreme of taking several days to design,” says Riley. “You never know what to expect from an entry or how it will do, which makes the event interesting.”

There are cash prizes, which are based on the number of points entries receive. Scores are determined by an equation which accounts for entry weight, number of parts, and distance from the frying pan. If the egg breaks, the entry will receive a score of zero.

In addition to the egg drop, the School of Engineering will host a special dinner Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m. in the Reid Campus Center on the campus of Whitman College in Walla Walla. Rick Woodbury, founder and president of Commuter Cars in Spokane, Wash., will be talking about his Tango electric car in his presentation “Innovative Disruption in the World of Transportation.”

For more information on these events, please call the School of Engineering office at (509) 527-2765.

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