Thursday, August 8, 2013

5 Days of Fun Farm Science: Rubber Eggs

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Here on our little "farm" we have the greatest population of chickens. They outnumber our family 6 to 1. :) We've love how the eggs we collect are so different than what you see in the store. Our chickens lay brown, white, and green eggs. Yes, green! Every so often, we have a chicken skip the shell. The egg is perfectly formed in its soft membrane, but no shell.

We found a fun little experiment on the Supercharged Science website that illustrates this. We used one boiled egg and one raw egg just to see the difference... minus the shell.

raw egg
hard boiled egg
two clean jars or water glasses
distilled white vinegar

We put the two eggs in the jar (we chose two different colors so we could tell them apart), and later decided on two separate jars. Then we covered them with white vinegar. Immediately we observed bubbles coming off of them. We learned that:
Vinegar has, among other things, a chemical called acetic acid (about 3% of it is acetic acid). Egg shells contain calcium carbonate. Calcium carbonate in the egg shell reacts with vinegar to form carbon dioxide (can be seen as bubbles in the vinegar). -Ask the Van
After 4 hours the shells were quite thin, but it took a full 24 hours for them to completely dissolve. There was nothing left but some shell colored (brown in this case) sediment on the bottom of the jar. We inspected the eggs (including a bounce test for the boiled egg!) and then we cut them open. It was easiest to inspect the membrane on the raw egg. It was amazingly thick and tough! I now know why that membrane is so important, it keeps germs and everything out!

When we split the eggs, we were amazed that they didn't really even smell like vinegar inside. We still didn't eat them. ;)

Feel free to try it yourself! Would a store bought egg have more or less shell to dissolve? If you do, let us know how many hours it takes! I'd love to hear from you.

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  1. When I taught in the classroom we did this experiment - it was amazing!


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