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Brown Bag Breakdown: Build a Straw-Capsule for Mr. Egg

This Brown Bag Lunch was from earlier in the summer, but it definitely deserves some recognition. Leo Madariaga, a graduate student at the CEEO, gave participants an objective: help Mr. Egg survive a crash landing! Leo handed out straws and tape to the Makers, and instructed them to build a capsule using different geometric patterns.

The design restraints were as follows: the capsule needed to fully cover the egg, and the egg could not crack at all during the landing. Check out the successful design on the right, created by Maker Nadia Hallaj.

I was very impressed with the success of the participants. Everyone there was up to the challenge, and their enthusiasm proved it. After prototypes were created and some quick tests were done in the Studio, the group went outside to the President’s lawn to test their capsules. Leo placed a “landing pad” at the bottom of the hill, and participants launched Mr. Egg from the top of the hill. Nerves were felt by all as each Maker stepped up to test their design knowing full well that failure was possible. But designing is all about failure. Failure teaches you what didn’t work, which puts you closer to learning what does work.