Campers hatch a plan in engineering egg drop

Lancer Engineering campers put the finishing touches on their apparatus that will carry their egg from the third floor of the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation to the ground.Lancer Engineering campers put the finishing touches on their apparatus that will carry their egg from the third floor of the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation to the ground.

Sydney Ryan may have had a slight advantage over her fellow campers.

The 12-year-old has a knack for engineering and builds race car tracks for her brothers and boats at home using found materials.

So, it’s no surprise that when tasked with the challenge to bring an egg safely to the ground from three storeys up, Ryan had a plan.

“We are trying to make a bird’s nest and have a base with a spongey-kind of foam material, a layer of paper and then a web of tight string that goes on either side of the egg,” Ryan said, who will be going into Grade 8 in the fall.

“We are then going for a double parachute with a plastic and paper bag that will soften the fall and make it go slower.”

Sydney Ryan puts the finishing touches on her parachute during the Lancers Engineering Camp on Wednesday.Sydney Ryan carefully works on her parachute during the Lancers Engineering Camp on Wednesday.

Ryan was among 60 children between the ages of eight and 12 at the inaugural University of Windsor Lancers Engineering summer camp on Wednesday.

Her session in the afternoon was made up to 30 campers who were divided into groups and provided with a variety of materials to safely transport their egg in one piece to the ground below.

Engineering outreach coordinator Mike Konstantino said introducing engineering concepts at an early age helps to foster their interest.

“Everyone is having a lot of fun, and they are really enjoying the hands-on activities which help them to learn those concepts,” Konstanino said.

“It’s best to introduce it to them at the youngest age possible, so it gives them a good foundation and enables them to learn more.”

The camp runs from July 10 to 14 and is divided into the age groups of eight to nine and 10 to 12.

The campers participate in different activities which will help them learn engineering concepts like aerodynamics, forces and motion, fluid dynamics, material strength and the design process.

An egg is dropped from the third floor of the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation on Wednesday during the Lancer Engineering Camp.An egg is dropped from the third floor of the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation on Wednesday during the Lancer Engineering Camp.

As for Ryan’s group’s egg, it drifted delicately from the third floor of the Ed Lumley Centre For Engineering Innovation undamaged. Many of the other eggs weren't as lucky.

“I love the process of engineering,” Ryan said.

“Coming up with an idea, designing, improving the design and then seeing the final result.

“I 100 per cent want to be an engineer.”

Campers display their apparatus that will safely transport the egg to the ground during the Lancer Engineering Camp on Wednesday.Campers display their apparatus that will safely transport their egg to the ground during the UWindsor Lancer Engineering Camp on Wednesday.

Campers peer over the edge of the railing to see if their egg has landed safely to the ground.Campers peer over the edge of the railing to see if their egg has landed safely to the ground.

A camper takes aim at a foam cup with an air cannon during the Lancer Engineering camp on Wednesday.A camper takes aim at a foam cup with an air cannon during the UWindsor Lancer Engineering camp on Wednesday.

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