Defend the Egg (also known as the Great Egg Drop) is a teambuilding activity that involves collaboration, problem solving, and creative teamwork. Groups build a structure out of ordinary materials and try to protect a raw egg from breaking when dropped from a high elevation.
This exercise in teambuilding can be messy, so choose an appropriate setting where making a mess is acceptable. The recommended group size is: teams of four or five people. Several materials are needed: raw eggs, several plastic straws, masking tape, newspaper, and other materials of your choice. This activity is for people ages 14 and up.
Setup for Defend the Egg
This game works well with teams that are not too large. A good team size is four or five people. Pass out one egg and a limited supply of materials (e.g. four straws, a three foot strip of tape, one section of a newspaper, etc.) This activity is more challenging with less materials provided, so decide how challenging you wish to make it.
Gameplay for Defend the Egg
Explain the rules: the mission is to protect the egg from cracking using teamwork, creativity, and a good design. You will drop each structure at least fifteen feet, and so the goal is for each structure to be able to withstand such a fall. Each team will only be given limited resources, and so they must be wise with what they have. They may not use any other resources other than what is given to them. Optionally, you can have other critera for judging including:
most creative design
most stylish/visually appealing
(any other awards you wish)
Decide on an appropriate amount of time (e.g. 20-25 minutes) and then instruct them to begin! Tell them to place their egg inside their structure.
Be sure to supervise each team as they build their structure.
When time is up, collect all the structures. Now is dramatic finale in which the structures are dropped (or thrown!) from at least 15 feet in elevation and then carefully inspected to see if the eggs survived. The winners are the groups that successfully protected the egg. If you chose to have other awards, announce those winners also.
This activity is useful to illustrate the importance of teamwork. Ask everyone to reflect on how their group accomplished the task, what worked, what was challenging, etc.
A much more challenging variation of this activity is to provide no materials (other than the egg) and ask the participants to find materials from outdoors.