The Royal Institution of Great Britain has been running a new web series of ExpeRimental, which supports and empowers parents and families to do easy and fun science activities at home as often as they would arts and crafts or cooking. There is a great selection of Science activities (complete with videos and print outs) available on the ExperRimental website – with season 1 focusing on Physics and season 2 focusing on Chemistry.
Since Easter is on it’s way, it seemed timely for me to share one of ExperRimental’s fun egg science experiments with you. This simple experiment is sometimes known as the naked egg experiment, or how to make a bouncy egg.
Egg Science Experiment
This fun Science activity takes a look at the different effects of various liquids on the shell of an egg.
The liquids might look the same, but they have quite different results. Learn how the acid in some of the liquids reacts, making the shell dissolve.
Your aim is to make an uncooked egg bounce!
For this egg science experiment you will need:
- 5 eggs
- Glasses or jars that an egg can fit inside comfortably
- Cling film (Saran/plastic wrap)
- Orange juice
How to do the bouncing egg science experiment
Pour some water into one of your glasses/jars so that when an egg is put in it is totally covered but doesn’t make the water overflow. Look closely at the egg to see if anything changes about it.
Repeat this process with all the other liquids.
Leave the eggs in the liquids overnight (you may want to cover the ones in vinegar and orange juice with the plastic film as they may start to smell).
Look at the eggs in the liquids again. Carefully take them out and put them on a plate. See if you can feel as well as see whether the eggs have changed in any way. You should notice that the eggs left in vinegar and orange juice have lost some or even all of their shells. If so, you can try squashing the eggs or even bouncing them from a height of a few centimetres – take care not to drop them from too high up or you’ll get the same result that you can see in the video.
If the shell has not completely dissolved for the egg in vinegar, leave for another day.
Watch this experiment in action here:
Questions to think about:
- Before putting the eggs in the glasses, ask children in what way the liquids you’ve got are the same, and in what ways they’re different. (Allow them to taste the liquids).
- For each liquid before egg put in: what do you think will happen if we put an egg in it
- For each liquid once each egg is put in: what do you see happening?
- What do you think will happen if we leave these eggs in these liquids over night?
- After the eggs have been left in the liquids over night : How are the eggs different now?
- Do you think the egg inside is still ok? How could we find out?
Why does this experiment work?
The calcium carbonate in the egg shells reacts with the acid in orange juice or vinegar to produce carbon dioxide gas – which causes fizzing in the liquids. Over time, this reaction dissolves the entire egg shell.