Physics and Astronomy

Eggmobile Mossport
Objective To construct a vehicle powered by an elastic band to carry a fresh egg over a 5-metre course in the fastest time possible. (An alternative is to measure maximum distance travelled rather than speed, but you need a lot of room.)
Purpose To explore energy and motion.
Participants: Teams of up to four.

A course 10 m in length with boards along the outside edge to prevent vehicles leaving the course. A soft barrier will be set up to stop the vehicles after they pass the finishing line. A raw hen's egg weighing at least 60 g. An elastic band (e.g. Viceroy #10). The vehicle can be constructed of any material, be of any size, and must have been built by the team entering it.

  1. Each vehicle will be allowed 3 runs over the standard course with the best time counted. OR
  2. Vehicles will run in pairs, with the winner proceeding to the next round, until an overall winner is determined. A "double knockout" system can be used to ensure each vehicle races at least two times.
  3. The vehicle must self-start and must not be given any initial impulse or have any external guidance at the start or during the race.
  4. All the energy used to propel the vehicle must be stored in the elastic band, which cannot be treated with chemicals, heated or cooled in any way.
  5. One elastic band will be given to each team just before the vehicle is stored until race time. At that time, each team will install the elastic so that no alterations need to be made other than winding up the elastic.
  6. The elastic band must remain intact, as one piece, between the time of installation and the completion of the trial runs. If the elastic breaks at any time during the competition, the team will be disqualified. (Optional rule)
  7. Each team will receive an egg to be installed in the vehicle just before the race. The eggs must not be altered or added to in any way and must complete the course unbroken.
  8. Vehicles will start with their foremost structure at some point in the first 3 m of track, as selected by the competitors.
  9. The race will be over once a vehicle completes the course; however should a vehicle leave the confines of the track, interfere with the running of a competitor's vehicle or stop and fail to self-start, that car will be disqualified and the race will be concluded (the other vehicle will be declared the winner of that race).
  10. Each team will have a maximum of 9 minutes to run the trials of their vehicle. At the end of 3 trails, the vehicle must be functional so that it could run a 4th trial.
  11. Vehicles judged unsafe or hazardous will be disqualified.
  12. Each team must retrieve its vehicle after each trial run. If the procedure results in breakage of the egg or damage to the vehicle so that more runs cannot be completed without repairing the vehicle, the team shall be disqualified.
  1. The 5-metre stretch used for timing the vehicle shall be the last 5-metres of the course.
  2. The clock will be started and stopped when the leading edge of the vehicle breaks light beams at the start and finish of the 5-metre timing section of the track.
  3. The laser beams used will be 5.5 cm above the track
Source Youth Science Foundation Science Olympics Manual.

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