Friday was the big day. My fifth graders had completed their Mars Landers and were ready for the big egg drop. We invited the other classes to attend if they were able, and at 1:30 all of the fifth graders and a large portion of the rest of the school assembled on the playground for the drop.
With the help of several wonderful colleagues, I was able to get all of the landers up to the second story roof of the school. It was a bit exciting because the wind was blowing rather strongly, and many of the landers tried to take off ahead of time! I spent some time chasing loose landers around the roof to corral them.
The drop itself was a great success. The kids were extremely excited, and you could hear them cheering, gasping, groaning, and calling out, “there’s mine!” as I tossed the landers off the roof. We had a huge success rate for survival, and the kids were overjoyed with the results. My principal is already planning ahead for next year’s drop!
As with any new lesson plan, the first actual run through gave me plenty of ideas for modifications. Next year, I am definitely removing balloons from the list of materials! The kids were way too dependent on those and I think it also accounted for our high survival rate. I am also thinking of giving them a set kit of materials, rather than letting them choose and seeing what the different groups come up with. I’m sure by next year I’ll have even more ideas for it.
This week the students will be writing in their lab journals and reflecting on their build. I can’t wait to see what they come up with!