Hundreds of Westview Elementary School kids gathered Thursday morning for something precarious: to watch an egg drop.
And not just one – they watched several hundred drop from the hands of a Spokane firefighter from Fire Station 13 as he perched atop a mechanical fire engine ladder dozens of feet in the air.
“We wanted something for the end of the year that would keep them excited,” said third-grade teacher and mastermind Tiffiny Santos. “This lets kids think outside the box.”
And think outside the box they did, rolling out a collection of unique contraptions. Everything from a wadded up ball of yarn to a shoe – and even a few Amazon shipping boxes – were on display.
The goal: to secure an egg inside an apparatus and keep it from cracking as it slams into the ground. It’s a project that started in Santos’ third-grade class, then became so popular it took over the entire school last year.
This year, it’s doubled in participation – and it was easy to see why, from the large crowd of screaming kids and grinning adults who craned their necks to watch the creative assemblies as they dropped.
Some floated delicately. Others careened and bounced off the hard cement of the school’s basketball court. Some mished-and-mashed, with egg-goop squirting out and shells flying. Others created silent coffins full of yoke and broken promises for the kids to find once they peeked into their creation.
“Eww,” said fifth-grader Addison Keys. He had stuffed one of his Nike sneakers full of padding, thinking the egg would be OK. It wasn’t.
“I’m gonna have to wash this out,” he said disappointedly, but with half a smile.
Jozalyn Ives, a fourth-grader who loves balloons and animals, mixed her two passions together, and – with the help of her grandmother, she was told to say to those who asked – concocted easily the most flamboyant, floaty creation this year.
“It’s a dog,” she said while standing next to the large balloon animal. Where its belly would normally be was a box with an egg stuffed inside suspended in the maze of balloons.
Before it was hauled off to the top of the ladder, Ives was confident the egg wouldn’t break. In fact, she was sure.
“It’s going to work,” she said.
When the moment of truth came, it didn’t quite live up to the hype of the others: It floated gently to the ground and landed without a sound. The only blemish was a twirly ribbon that fell off its balloon tail.
Quite a bummer for the crowd, especially since every time an egg broke and yoke shot out they’d all release a collective “Ohh!” in excitement.
“They love to see them break,” remarked Cathy Comfort, Westview’s principal. “But they love to see survivors, too.”
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