Gathered by Dos Muchachos, a student group that coordinates activities for the Dean of Students’ office, the eclectic mix of items was presented to 120 enthusiastic participants assembled for the Family Weekend Egg Drop Competition–Parents vs. Students on Saturday, Feb. 13.
On the sunny mall between Thomas-Garrett and Kingston halls, the exuberant crowd was separated into parents/families and students, then formed into teams of four. Instructions encouraged participants to “eat any unused edible items” and place the “gummynaut (gummy bear) in a pilot position somewhere on your eggcraft.” The newspaper was not to be used to wrap the egg and the plastic bag containing the items was not to be used at all. A 30-minute time limit was imposed and teams scrambled to begin.
Parents got down to business quickly, examining the “ingredients” and conspiring to beat “those kids.” Amid the marshmallows and gummy bears, there were some serious discussions about “impact,” “resistance” and “drag.” Parents used their considerable experience (some technical, some not) to enhance their devices—Linan Ukropina P13 (mother of Grant) skillfully wound rubber bands onto her team’s egg contraption. She credited “years of doing girls’ hair” for her prowess. John Robinson P13 (father of John) pulled out his Swiss army knife to help his team build the ultimate eggcraft.
Jim and Cathy McElwain P13 (daughter, Cori) and Mark and Susan Johnson P13 (son Matt) could be heard discussing how they would go about “slowing the rate of descent” with their design. After a long and technical discussion, Don and Dana Wiyninger P11 (son, Lee), Lynn Ihlenfeldt P11 (son, Daniel) and Shimon Atzil P13 (son, Aaron) carefully taped their egg onto a tripod of marshmallows.
On the student side, the 10 student teams did what they do best—collaborated creatively.
After much discussion, mashing of marshmallows, wrapping of Fruit Rollups and attaching it all to the Muddraker (which was used as the parachute in most designs), the moment of truth arrived. Teams delivered their creative crafts to the four judges, Kiley Sobel ’13, Caro de Frietas ’11, Nick Hill ’12 and Roque Muna ’11, who were tasked with selecting prizewinners for Creative, Beautiful, Ugly, and Spontaneously Combustible. Associate Dean of Activities Chris Sundberg used a pneumatic lift to rise three-stories above the assembled crowd and commenced dropping the eggcrafts one by one. Many floated effortlessly, held aloft by a Muddraker “parachute.” A few were caught by the wind or were sent hurtling to the ground. But, even so, most eggs survived.
Parent teams swept the prizes, including Most Creative and Most Beautiful. The Ukropina/Marangoni-Simonsen team—despite the rubber band strategy—received the Spontaneously Combustible prize because their egg broke. The overall winner, based on slowest descent, with a time of 3.34 seconds, was a parent team called Final Flight. Team member Brian Dearden P13 remarked, “The design worked exactly as conceived.”
The event brought out the best in everyone and clearly showed where Harvey Mudd students get their ingenuity, creativity and drive.