UAE students are challenging the law of gravity by dropping eggs from a height of 15 metres and ensuring they land safely at the Red Bull Gravity Challenge being held this week. Amelia Naidoo reports

Since last week students have been defying the law of gravity. Participants of the Red Bull Gravity Challenge have been building machines that can carry an egg, be dropped from a height in 15 metres and land safely without breaking the egg.

Students of Dubai International Academic City have already held their competition. Students from Al Ain's UAE University and Dubai Knowledge Village will participate tomorrow and on November 12.

Whacky ideas

Tanzanian national Fatimah Fazal, 19, of Manipal University, says she and her friends were intrigued by the posters advertising the competition.

"I've been to a previous Red Bull event and it was really cool – the atmosphere was lively and exciting," Fazal said.

When Notes chatted with her and team-mates Divya Galani and Shokoufeh Khakipour, they were building a machine they had named 'Gizmo'.

"He's got a freaky look on his face and the idea is that after he is dropped and lands on the ground, his mouth will fall open, his tongue will come out and the egg will roll out," Fazal said.

The team members said it took them a couple of days to come up with a plan, a prototype and a basic structure and two weeks to build the machine. They said they were unsure whether the machine would work as they haven't tested it properly due to ongoing exams and midterms.

"We've not seen other students' machines but we're pleased with the way ours turned out and we are interested in seeing what others have come up with. Everyone is really hyped up about it and we are hoping lots of people show up to watch," Fazal said.

Saif Mohammad Ali Al Eryani, a student at UAE University in Al Ain, and his team members are putting together an egg-landing machine made of wooden sticks, plastic bags string and cork.

"It took us a week to build this machine and we chose this specific type because we think it is a new idea and at the same time easy to build. It's very light and can fly!" Al Eryani said.

The student said his team has tested the machine a couple of times by dropping it 20 metres from the rooftop of one of their homes.

The teams said they decided to participate in the competition to challenge themselves and also to have some fun.

How it works

The Red Bull Gravity Challenge is open to all members of a university including students, professors, tutors, lecturers and assistants. Teams of three can participate; however only one contestant is allowed to go up to the platform to drop the egg. The other team members may call out tips and suggestions from ground level.

Teams whose eggs touch the ground unbroken on landing will receive full points. If not, only half the points will be awarded.

Participating in the event requires one to draw a sketch of the egg landing machine, which cannot exceed 5kg in weight and one square metre in size.

The machine will be technically scrutinised before the start and should there be any risk of danger, the egg won't be allowed up onto the starting platform and will instead be cracked open into a pan.

Each team has one minute for a short show before dropping the device from the platform. The creativity and the idea behind the egg-landing machine will be evaluated. An independent jury will award entries with points ranging from one to five for this.

Four points will be awarded to the team that manages to drop the egg without breaking it. Only two points will be given to teams whose eggs drop without touching the ground. Broken eggs do not get points.

To enter the competition visit