Egg Elimination Apparatus

Flinn STEM Design Challenge™


Excite your students for the physics battle of the century with this robust apparatus! The Egg Elimination Apparatus will intrigue and motivate students prior to the competition date. The goal of Egg Elimination is for students to use their knowledge of force, inertia and the laws of motion, and momentum to design a vehicle that will defeat the competition, while protecting precious cargo, the egg. These kit instructions provide directions for assembling the apparatus and options for securing it to your classroom ceiling.


  • Force
  • Inertia
  • Momentum
  • Newton’s laws of motion


Carabiners, 2", 4*
Carbon steel wires, 12", 4*
Double loop chains, trade size 4, 25', 2*
Eye screws, 8*
Quick links, ⅛" diameter, 4*
Wood blocks, 2" x 2" x 12", 2*
Materials included in kit. 

Safety Precautions

Students should wear goggles during the entire activity and remain in their assigned seats during collisions. Wipe up spills immediately. Remind students to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water before leaving the laboratory. Be sure to hang the apparatus in a safe, secure location.

Prelab Preparation

Egg Elimination Apparatus Assembly

  1. Obtain a wood block and measure and mark on top 1½" and 10½" from the left edge for eye screw placement. Center the eye screw and screw in place (see Figure 1). This may be done by hand, otherwise, insert a screwdriver through the “eye” and twist.
    {14074_Preparation_Figure_1_Eye screw placement}
  2. On the bottom of the wood block, measure and mark 3½" and 8½" from the left edge for eye screw placement. Center the eye screw and screw in place (see Figure 1).
  3. Affix two quick links to the top eye screws and then attach both ends of one 25' chain to the quick links (see Figure 2).
    {14074_Preparation_Figure_2_Quick link and chain}
  4. On the bottom eye screws, loop the carbon wire through the eye and twist the wire around itself to secure.
  5. After twisting the carbon wire onto the eye screw, measure 6" from the bottom of the eye screw and attach a carabiner to the wire and twist (see Figure 3). Make sure that the carabiners are hanging at the same length.
    {14074_Preparation_Figure_3_Student attachment}
  6. Repeat steps 1–5 with second set of materials.
Options for Hanging the Egg Elimination Apparatus
Attachment of the Egg Elimination Apparatus will depend on your classroom. Several options are provided. The apparatus will need to be placed near the center of the room allowing the two vehicles to collide when released by students. Be certain that the option you choose is safe and secure as students will be standing beneath the apparatus.

Option A: Dry Wall Ceiling: Find a stud in the ceiling and attach a large eye screw (the longer the screw portion, the more secure the apparatus will be). Attach the chain to the quick link and then to the eye screw.

Option B: Drop Ceiling: If structure steel beams are present, you can affix a beam clamp (for hooks and hangers) to the steel beam and then attach the quick link with chain to the beam clamp (see Figure 4).
{14074_Preparation_Figure_4_Option B. Beam clamp}
Option C: Drop Ceiling
If structural steel beams are present, the chain can be looped over a beam and secured by connecting two links from the chain beneath the beam with a lock ring or padlock.

Option D: Drop Ceiling
A final option requires a little “engineering” and possible assistance from the maintenance staff. Use a threaded bolt/rod with fender washers against the ceiling tile. A jamb nut should be placed tight to the coupling nut (long hex barrel) and another jamb nut. Connect an eye bolt to the bottom. Above the ceiling a threaded rod would need to be attached to the roof truss for strength (see Figure 5).
{14074_Preparation_Figure_5_Option D. Threaded rod}


Criteria and Constraints
Design a vehicle using materials of your choice that will carry and protect a raw egg during a head-on collision with another vehicle. Be sure to follow all design criteria and constraints below, otherwise you will be disqualified and unable to compete.

Part A. Vehicle Materials and Specifications

  1. No materials may be used that break and create harmful fragments (e.g., glass, ceramic).
  2. The total mass of the vehicle cannot exceed 10 N or 1 kg (2.2 pounds).
  3. The dimensions of the vehicle cannot exceed 30 cm x 30 cm x 30 cm.
  4. One half of the egg (grade A, large) must be visible and left unprotected from all sides.
  5. The egg must be the highest point on the vehicle, except for the suspension system.
  6. The egg cannot be held in place by any adhesive (e.g., glue, sticky tack).
  7. Vehicles must have a suspension system with loops that will hook up to the rig. The suspension system must measure exactly 10 cm from the top of the vehicle (including the loops) (see Figure 6).
    {14074_Procedure_Figure_6_Vehicle requirements and specifications}
  8. Offensive weapons may be used, however, they cannot be sharper than an unsharpened pencil (must have a blunt end).
If any of these specifications are not met, you will be disqualified from competition.

Part B. Contest Rules
  1. Single elimination pairings will be randomly selected.
  2. Vehicles will be crashed together until one egg cracks, breaks, falls out of the vehicle or if the vehicle falls off its suspension.
  3. If any of the above happens to both competitors, both are eliminated.
  4. No repairs or adjustments can be made during a battle. Adjustments can only be made after a winning collision.

Teacher Tips

  • This kit contains only the materials for building the apparatus. The teacher must determine a safe attachment site and provide any necessary hardware for proper attachment. Possible options are given in Options for Hanging the Egg Elimination Apparatus in the Prelab Preparation section.
  • This kit is useful as a culminating activity following a unit on Forces and Motion, including concepts such as Newton’s laws of motion and momentum. This easily relates to the use of science in engineering safety equipment in automobiles such as seat belts and air bags for collisions.
  • For a full student write-up with STEM integration, see the Flinn Scientific Catalog No. AP8058, Egg Elimination—Flinn STEM Design Challenge™, which may be purchased separately.
  • In schools where Egg Elimination—Flinn STEM Design Challenge™ has been a tradition, students look forward with anticipation to win the competition or survive longer than their siblings or friends.

Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science & Engineering Practices

Developing and using models
Planning and carrying out investigations
Constructing explanations and designing solutions
Obtaining, evaluation, and communicating information

Disciplinary Core Ideas

MS-PS2.A: Forces and Motion
MS-ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems
HS-PS2.A: Forces and Motion
HS-ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions

Crosscutting Concepts

Energy and matter
Structure and function

Performance Expectations

MS-ETS1-2. Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
MS-PS2-1. Apply Newton’s Third Law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects.
HS-PS2-2. Use mathematical representations to support the claim that the total momentum of a system of objects is conserved when there is no net force on the system.
HS-PS2-3. Apply scientific and engineering ideas to design, evaluate, and refine a device that minimizes the force on a macroscopic object during a collision.
HS-ETS1-2. Design a solution to a complex real-world problem by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable problems that can be solved through engineering.

Next Generation Science Standards and NGSS are registered trademarks of Achieve. Neither Achieve nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards were involved in the production of this product, and do not endorse it.