A small group of teachers and firefighters gathered May 21 to drop eggs from a 65 ft. fire engine ladder — all in the name of science.
It was the annual Cassie Hall Elementary School egg drop contest. Students were tasked with packaging their egg in a box, using their choice of materials for shielding. Eggs that survive the drop are winners.
Normally the egg drop is held at the elementary school with hundreds of students participating, but this year the event was held out at the Thornhill fire hall with no students present, to ensure physical distancing. It was billed as a “virtual touchless” egg drop. Only 11 students submitted eggs this year.
“This year it was hard to get kids motivated to do it,” said Nancy Jay, a grade 4 teacher, adding that keeping students engaged has generally been a challenge this year as students have been out of school since spring break due to the pandemic.
Nevertheless, she said, it was still important to hold the event. Amanda Shore, a grade 2 teacher, echoed that sentiment.
“I think a lot of the kids just really want to be back at school, and they miss their friends, and it’s been a really hard time for them,” Shore said. “Doing something educational that’s fun too … is an uplifting thing for them.”
Adam Teichroeb, a Thornhill volunteer firefighter, was the one who went up in the ladder bucket to drop the eggs.
“My only real challenge is to try and throw them all exactly the same, so that nobody has an advantage,” he said.
The egg drop also provides an opportunity to practice safety protocols and use of the ladder truck, Teichroeb said.
“I have my full harness that I have to use … I have to know where to connect it to,” he said. “I wasn’t doing it today, but I could control everywhere I go from up in the basket.”
Teichroeb had some advice for kids who will participate in the challenge next year.
“Think light. The lighter, the better,” he said.
Jay said egg drops were a regular fixture at district science fairs years ago, but those science fairs no longer take place, so she decided to bring the egg drop to Cassie Hall Elementary school.
Shore and Jay both said they assumed the egg drop wouldn’t happen this year because of physical distancing, but Peggy Gilliard, a Thornhill volunteer firefighter, saw the egg drop come up in her calender and she suggested pushing forward with the event.
“That’s the firefighting thing, [we] always say ‘adapt and overcome,’” Gilliard said.