When April comes around, eggs, dye, and vinegar fill classrooms and kitchens everywhere. Let’s skip the dye and get straight to the egg. Our science experiment, The Yolk’s on You, uses eggs soaked in vinegar to show us eggs in a whole new way!
By soaking eggs in vinegar, a chemical reaction between the calcium carbonate shell and the acidity of vinegar is visible as small air bubbles appear and a white frothy layer covers the egg. After one day, you can take the egg out and gently rub away some of the calcium that has dissolved and it should feel light and powdery.
To continue the dissolving process, just put the egg back into the vinegar and wait another day to see the naked egg. Egg membrane is permeable, and it will seem swollen, because water has seeped past the membrane.
Make It a Learning Experience!
Studying the scientific method can be a great way to make the most of an activity:
- Ask a question: what are you looking for?
- Make some predictions: what do you think will happen in the process?
- Walk through the experiment process: go through each step, including any extra tasks like hand washing, cleanup, etc.
- Make observations: these can be notes or drawings.
- Talk about what happened: were your predictions correct? If not, why not?
More helpful tips include doing background research to answer any questions that come up, and having all supplies at hand and ready for use.
Evan-Moor offers a fully detailed lesson plan in our teacher resource book How to Do Science Experiments with Children, Grades 2–4. The book is full of fun science experiments to do with kids.
Here’s the The Yolk’s on You activity, which includes background information, step-by-step teaching directions, a worksheet, and egg templates for observational drawings!
For even more fun, try an egg-bouncing contest! Have students start an inch away from a surface, and watch the egg bounce without breaking. Keep trying, rising an additional inch from the surface each time to find out how strong eggs really are. Or bounce the egg on different surfaces and document the different results.
Karina Ruiz has four years of experience working with children for non-profit after-school programming for K–12 and four years of nanny work. She is currently a volunteer intern and attends California State University, Monterey Bay.