The Terrascope Egg Drop was everything it was cracked up to be.
About 50 participants teamed up in small groups on Aug. 28 to find a way to protect a raw egg dropped from the roof of the 18-story Green Building, the tallest building on MIT's main campus.
Most teams concentrated on padding the egg for landing and easing its descent.
Parachutes were a popular design element, but proved a hindrance to targeting, according to Debra Gross Aczelï¿½ï¿½of Terrascope. "They were competing with a bit of a wind," she said. "The eggs were sort of drifting."
Terrascope, which sponsored the event, is a learning community for freshmen that focuses on earth sciences and the environment. In keeping with Terrascope's mission, egg drop participants had to build their packaging out of recycled materials scrounged up around MIT.
Each team was given $1,000 in play money to buy recycled bottles, newspapers, paper cups and other materials. Contestants were judged on whether the egg survived, how close it came to the marked target, and how much the team spent. First-, second- and third-prize winners received Starbucks gift certificates.
Although timed to coincide with freshman orientation, the event was open to the entire MIT community.