Thursday, October 7, 2010

Egg-stra Special Science

Last week I picked up Janice VanCleave's Biology For Every Kid. We've been lacking in the Science department. A little studying here and there (beavers, fish/seas/Jacque Cousteau, magnetism, laws of motion, circuits) but no real structure to our learning. Anyway, I know how the little one loves doing experiments and I thought we could at least find a few in here.

We decided to try out the Naked Egg and the Shrinking Egg experiments.

2 jars (preferably with lids, because this house is full of spillers)
corn syrup
1 egg
measuring tape
6 days time

1. Take one jar and fill it with about 2 inches of vinegar.
2. Measure the length (and circumference if you want) of the egg . Write them on an observation chart you make up on paper. We didn't do this part, we were lazy but it sure would have been nice to compare sizes at various times.
3. Carefully slide the egg into the vinegar jar. Check to make sure the vinegar is deep enough for the egg to be covered. Our egg sank to the bottom. Add more vinegar if necessary to cover egg.
4. We then labeled the jar with a day and time we should finish the experiment, 72 hours later.

* Check your experiment every day and note any changes on your chart. *

* You'll note that bubbles immediately begin forming on the egg. Over the next couple days those will multiple and the egg will be covered. *

72 hours (3 days) later:

SCIENCE INFO:  The bubbles seen throughout the 3 days are carbon dioxide gas. Vinegar is an acid, the shell of the egg is carbon carbonate. The carbonate and the acid react and you get carbon dioxide gas. You'll notice the egg has taken on a yellowish look, no more bubbles really and no real shell left. The vinegar reacted with and dissolved it away.  It has the feel of a water balloon. Some of the vinegar sneaked in through the cells' membranes and made the egg bigger. This is called Osmosis.

 1. Carefully take the egg out, sit it on the lid while you measure its length and CAREFULLY measure circumference, noting on your chart again. You'll determine the egg has grown exponentially in size.
2. Use same egg for the Shrinking Egg experiment.

1. Pour 2" of corn syrup into the 2nd jar. 
2. Slip the bloated egg carefully into the corn syrup. Put on the lid. Add more corn syrup if necessary to cover egg.

* You'll note that unlike the shelled version of this egg, the bloated one floats. More buoyant. (Here you'll see we did the experiment a 2nd time, to show the difference in the eggs, side by side.)

72 hours (3 days) later:

*You'll note, as you probably have if you've been watching your experiment everyday (and i would recommend that you check it every day around the same time, noting changes) that the egg has lost a lot of its bloatedness. According to the experiment it was supposed to shrink up like a shriveled raisin, but it didn't really get that small.*

SCIENCE INFO: This is once again a case of Osmosis. The water (and some vinegar) moves where there is no water, in this case into the corn syrup. The corn syrup can not get into the egg so the egg takes on a shriveled appearance.

Great, easy learning experience for the whole family. DH enjoyed getting involved as well (note his finger putting the egg in the corn syrup. :) ) We picked out a few experiments to do in the coming days. The little one read many of the experiments and the science behind them and I heard her telling her dad all about different things. So even if you can't get to all the experiments in a book, make sure you let the little ones read through it as they 'pick' which ones they want to do. They'll learn a whole ton of information from this book. I know I did!

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