The NWMO gives Ignace science students a hands-on challenge

Collage of firefighters and student

Ignace volunteer firefighters (left) put the finishing touches on the egg drop scaffold and student Gavin Breube (right) with an egg that survived a 5 metre drop.

The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) worked with the Ignace School to organize an egg drop challenge in follow-up to a Used Fuel Transportation Package and Package Testing presentation given to students in the grade 7/8 science class.

The virtual presentation was delivered to 17 students and was led by Caitlin Burley, Manager of Transportation Engagement with the NWMO, and assisted by two NWMO student workers, Damara Delescaille and Kyla Moore. The Ignace students listened to an overview of the used fuel transportation package, safety and security, and watched videos related to package testing.

“To make this topic fun and interactive, we challenged the students with a robust package testing activity,” said Caitlin Burley. “They were tasked with designing and constructing a container that will protect an egg during a severe impact event, which meant a 5-metre drop in the school’s baseball diamond. I am so impressed with the initiative that the NWMO students took in organizing this youth activity and by the bright young minds in the grade 7/8 class.”

Students were given packaging materials (bubble wrap, cardboard, Styrofoam) and eggs that were placed inside of the protective containers they designed and built. The purpose of the activity was to demonstrate how design and engineering of a package and a system of multiple barriers can protect the contents of a package in the event of an accident without any release of the contents into the environment.

The Ignace Fire Department joined in on the fun and volunteer firefighters Robert Berube, Bob Morin and Braeden Morin built a 5-metre scaffolding to drop the packages from. A total of 17 egg-protecting packages were dropped. Only three eggs broke during the fall but in each instance, the package remained intact and there was no release of yolk into the environment.

Ignace Mayor Penny Lucas attended the event and was impressed by the students’ work. “It was fun and a great learning experience for the kids,” Mayor Lucas said. “I’m pleased to see how many eggs survived the fall.”