Bricks and Books Club: The Science of Breakable Things

It’s been awhile since I blogged about Bricks and Books! As I gear up for fall sessions at a new library, I’ve been revisiting some of my all-time favorite plans, including The Science of Breakable Things by Tae Keller:

bbc breakable

Book Blurb:

Natalie used to like science and spent much of her childhood in her botanist mother’s laboratory. But her mom, suffering from severe depression, barely leaves the bedroom these days. Natalie thinks she’s found the solution when and she and her BFF Twig enter a classic egg-drop contest. Natalie is determined to use the $500 winning prize money to fly Mom to New Mexico to see the Cobalt Blue Orchid, a flower that thrives in the harshest conditions, and everything will go back to normal again… right?

Eggs are breakable. Hope is not.”
-Tae Keller, The Science of Breakable Things

Icebreaker: What would you do if you won $500?

Most of us said we would spend the money on our passions: books, baking, gaming, pets. Some thrifty young souls said they would invest or put their money in savings. Some mentioned using the money for friends and loved ones.

Discussion Questions:

  • Recall: What is Natalie’s “secret question”?
  • Compare: Natalie says that plants are people, too. How are people and plants the same? How are they different?
  • Reflect: What does Natalie learn from Operation Egg?
  • Recall: What are the steps of the scientific process?


Venn Diagram: Plants vs. People

We had QUITE the discussion about plants and people! There was particularly heated disagreement over whether both plants and people are edible. 🤣

Building Challenge: Egg Drop!

bbc breakable challenge

Challenge Slide: Build a container that can protect your egg from a 12 foot drop!

Let the building begin!


Container In Progress: four connected large base plates and scattered wheels/bricks on a tabletop.

I was especially curious how this container with the HUGE base would turn out! The kids behind this designed figured the large plates would catch more air and increase drag, thereby slowing the egg’s descent.


Final Container: A tower-like structure filled with loose bricks and wheels; the structure is connected to four large base plates.

We had a smashing good time! Literally. I only wish there had been time to make adjustments to our designs after the initial launches. A surprising number of kids nailed it on the first try, though!

To read more about getting started with a Bricks and Books Club, read this post.

Please note that LEGO® is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorize or endorse this content.

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