On Friday, Oct. 28, the Empowerment in STEM club hosted an egg drop competition. Participants competed in teams of 3-4 people, and each team was tasked with designing a contraption to prevent their egg from cracking after being dropped from the Hall of Sciences rotunda.
The beginning of the event was held in HS4, where participants grabbed pizza and drinks while Empowerment in STEM club president Grace Solomon (’24) explained the rules of the competition. Then the teams acquired their eggs and supplies, which included cardboard, pipe cleaners and balloons. Participants had 20 minutes to design their devices. Many teams took creative approaches to their use of resources. For example, some used the plates and cups provided for the pizza and drinks and even the pizza itself.
After the 20 minutes ended, one person from each team went up to the rotunda with their device while the other competitors watched from below. The representatives of the teams explained the ideas behind their contraptions and then Empowerment in STEM club treasurer Harris Naqvi (’24) dropped the devices. The majority of the eggs did not break, a testament to the competitors’ clever designs.
Tad Szymczak (’26) and Kyle Nolan (’26) worked with their team to build a device consisting of a cup containing the egg, straws and pipe cleaners as well as a propellor made of cardboard and a balloon. Their contraption prevented the egg from cracking.
“I was skeptical coming in, but I did have fun,” Szymczak said. “The propeller idea by Kyle was really good. My idea to add stuff to cushion it really helped.”
“I enjoyed the event. It was a fun time. I thought it was really cool,” added Nolan.
The winners were selected from the successful teams based on the criteria of complexity, creativity, teamwork and neatness. After a few suspenseful moments of deliberation, the Empowerment in STEM board announced the winning team: Michael Bickford (’23), Brynn McCarthy (’25), Jocelyn Freeman (’25) and Amelia Tirey (’25). Each of the winners received a Lego set as a prize.
Explaining how his team came up with their winning design, Bickford said, “We focused first on getting the inside nice and safe and secure for the egg, and then after that we had a lot of time left over, so we decided to create a story of a rocket ship crash-landing back to Earth.”
“I think the biggest thing that made us the winner was that we were a combination of STEM and humanities majors,” McCarthy added. “We had a very diverse group, and I think with all those different mindsets, we were able to create our wonderful contraption.”
The egg drop competition was the first major event for Empowerment in STEM, which Solomon created last year. The club’s purpose is to provide resources to underrepresented populations in STEM and to foster a sense of community among Drew’s STEM majors.
When asked about the purpose of the egg drop competition, Solomon said, “It was mostly a community-building event. Obviously, we have more serious and topic-focused events in the future, but this one was just for fun.”
Solomon also described her vision for the club. “I just wanted people to be able to find support and help improve retention in STEM for underrepresented populations, so that’s why we’re focused on building community because the biggest reason people drop out of the STEM field is because they don’t feel included,” she said.
Stay tuned for future Empowerment in STEM events, which will likely include weekly discussions, a documentary night, a STEM research event and a schedule-making party.
FEATURED IMAGE COURTESY OF DEE COHEN.