Assalamu-alaikum (peace be upon you) parents, youth, and fellow readers,

Well we knew the warm Spring-like weather couldn’t last forever in West Lafayette; alhamdulillah we were able to enjoy a few balmy days (temperatures were above 40 degrees Fahrenheit!) before snow returned in our forecast last Friday evening. Inside the warm confines of the ISGL, we held our second life skills workshop of the semester – The Egg Drop. Before the fun could begin, our youth responded to the call to prayer and prayed Isha prayer in congregation with the community.

After Isha prayer was completed, we broke up into two small groups for our weekly discussion. As Friday’s activity involved teamwork, we took a moment to discuss one of the most important keys to having a successful group project – communication between team members. Regardless if participating on a sports team, school club, working on a group project, or joining forces for a youth group event, communication is a critical element needed for success. When team members define roles, communicate issues, and listen to advice/suggestions from their teammates, a project can flow smoothly. When teammates fail to communicate with each other, the results can often be disastrous. As we concluded our short discussion, our mentors left our youth with a few recommendations to help them achieve success in future group projects.

As our youth gleefully ran downstairs to the multipurpose room (after our discussion), they were greeted by a transformed environment. No longer were they just young men; they were now dubbed secret agents by their team leader Br. Fahad. The group of secret agents was split-up into special operations groups before being handed their mission for the evening. Agent Humpty-Dumpty is injured and sitting atop the Burj Khalifah in Dubai. He requires urgent medical attention but the elevators are inoperable to get him to the ground floor. His only option – he must take the specially-designed carrier designed by our special operations teams and parachute to the ground safely. Mr. Humpty-Dumpty is fragile (he is an egg after all) so care must be taken to ensure the carrier is properly cushioned.

Folks, please meet Mr. Humpty-Dumpty, our secret super agent!

Commander Fahad debriefs the agents on their secret mission

Mohamed reads the details of the mission out loud. We love the intensity and focus on his face.

After debriefing our young agents on their mission and the materials available to construct their egg carriers, each team was given 30 minutes to design their model.

Tassawar and Sheriff think long and hard about the mission...wait did they just say there is an egg involved in this? Whose brilliant idea was this project again?

Omar draws his team's master design. Psssst Hamzeh, we agree with you; the design isn't going to work.

Once the agents received approval from Command and Control (a.k.a our mentors), they were given a goody bag with the following materials:

  • 10 Popsicle sticks
  • 8 straws
  • 6 cotton balls
  • 8 inches of Styrofoam
  • 2 feet of tape
  • 1 rubber band

And then things got crazy…

Command and Control Headquarters - we were going for a serious photo but Salah destroyed the mood. Good job Fahad - at least someone paid attention to directions.

Mujtaba and Murtaza discuss the properties of Styrofoam - it is quite fluffy yet durable...PERFECT for a box!

Ahmed, Shujath, and Raad discuss the finer points of mixing Styrofoam with straws

Ihsan lends some beneficial advice to the young lads

Mohamed, Muhammad, and Assim carefully begin taping their pieces together..."careful we only get two feet of tape!"

Wisdom on full display here folks - Tassawar couldn't find a pair of scissors to cut his Styrofoam. No problem, after all what else is a Popsicle stick good for?

Out of nowhere, Adil comes to save the day. With one minute to go Ahmed, Raad, and Shujath miraculously finish building their vehicle. This was their third model.

Salah didn't think it fair that the youth were having all the fun; after throwing a temper tantrum Fahad conceded and gave Salah a bag of supplies.

"DON'T BREAK IT," reacts the Muhammad/Mohamed tandem

After 45 minutes of hard work, there emerged the following creative masterpieces:

"Egg Protection Structure (E.P.S.)" by Mujtaba and Murtaza

"Scrambled Eggs" by Malik and Ali; sadly the name actually matches the vehicle's effectiveness.

"The Arachnid" by Omar and Hamzeh

"The Challenger" by Tassawar and Sheriff

"The Workers" by Assim, Mohamed, and Muhammad

Since our youth had designed such unique and…ahem…durable-looking structures, it was time for the big test. Which vehicle would safely transport Mr. Humpty-Dumpty down from the Burj Khalifa (basically 8 feet from the ground).

Fahad gets ready to drop the Mr. Humpty-Dumpty; is it just us or is that not a looooong way up? Acrophobia anyone?

Some of our youth were great sports even though their final products didn’t quite succeed in their mission.

Malik kisses his trophy, the failed "Scrambled Eggs." Meanwhile in the background Ali thinks, "Dude you're weird! It's just a box made of Styrofoam."

Though "The Arachnid" failed its mission, Omar found great joy in his team's final product

In the end only two egg carriers survived the initial drop – “The Minute,” by Ahmed, Raad, and Shujath and “Fort Knox,” created by our very own Salah Issa! Since we had some extra time left, we thought to ourselves, “I wonder if these two carriers can survive a two-story drop? Hey, let’s test them!” With this thought in mind, our youth grabbed their jackets and shoes and scrambled outside. From a window on the second floor of the ISGL, Fahad gingerly released both carriers. In the end, only one survived the mission.

Tonight's superstar = "Fort Knox," the indestructible eggmobile

Friday’s event was a great learning experience for our youth. We’ll conclude with a few parting photos. Enjoy!

Fahad checks Mr. Humpty-Dumpty for scratches and holes - and the result is..."HE'S SAFE!"

The painful remnants of Mr. Humpty-Dumpty. He was such a dependable fellow. Can we make some scrambled eggs yet?

We began with 12 eggs...sadly 6 didn't make it to the end