A group of fifth grade summer school students at Hugh Bish Elementary undertook an eggselent eggsperiment Thursday.

Perhaps teacher Claudia Montgomery and teaching partner Ashley Rouse wanted to teach the students social skills. Perhaps they wanted to teach the students about gravity and impact. Perhaps they wanted to teach the students a better way to make an egg carton, so that one doesn’t arrive home from the grocery store with a bag of yolk. Whatever the case may be, students and teachers alike closed the first week of Lawton Public School’s summer school program with a fun and engaging activity.

“We did an egg drop experiment with them today, and they really enjoyed it,” Montgomery said. “Our main goal was to help them regain some of their social skills. For some of these students, this is the first time they’ve been in a classroom in more than a year.”

Around 20 fifth grade students from Hugh Bish Elementary and Crosby Park Elementary spent what would be their third week of summer at Hugh Bish for the first week of summer school. Much of the instruction is focused on enrichment, rather than learning new skills. Part of that enrichment is helping to ease students back into the classroom setting after COVID-19 shortened the 2019-2020 school year and many opted for digital learning last year. Montgomery said each individual student made their own egg basket contraption, but they were engaged with each other the whole time.

“It was wonderful to see how each of them started working on their contraptions and then would look at what the others were doing and take notes from them,” she said.

The students could pick up to six items from a collection brought by Montgomery and Rouse to make their contraptions. They could work with clay, bubble wrap, toilet paper rolls, tape, straws, foam and more. There were no rules for size or consistency. The students let their imaginations run wild — and applied a bit of STEM knowledge in the process.

“What really came to my mind when I got my egg was that I could put clay around it and that would protect it,” said student Addison Moore.

Classmate Jaiden Fortner opted for a different approach — encasing his egg in a protective shell made of sticks and wrapping it. He originally wanted to use clay, but opted against it because he felt it wouldn’t work properly.

“I was thinking how can I make this work right,” Fortner said. “So I took all these sticks and I shoved the egg down in there, thinking that would help it.”

After about 30 minutes of work and experimentation, the students moved out to the playground, where they climbed atop a step ladder and ceremoniously dropped their egg contraptions. Moore and Fortner’s became ingredients for a blacktop omelet.

“It backfired on me because the clay pressed in the shell and busted it when it hit,” Moore said. “I think next time I would put more bubble wrap around it.”

Fortner said he would wrap his up much more.

“My design wasn’t that great when I finished it,” he said. “I think I would wrap it a lot in bubble wrap and leather to make it much safer.”

Montgomery was proud of how well the students accepted the fate of their broken eggs.

“When we brought them out, some cracked and some didn’t, and you see how they were asking each other questions and talking about what they did right and what they did wrong,” she said. “It worked out amazingly well.”

Several students were able to craft something that kept them safe, but many more saw their eggs crack under pressure — and impact. Still, each student, including Rylen Van Der Hoek, took mental notes of how they could make their contraption better — and perhaps share it with stores.

“I wrapped mine in bubble wrap and cloth for cushioning, and it didn’t work well enough,” she said. “I didn’t put enough cotton balls in there. They should use more cotton balls and put it in better wrap.”

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