Back-to-school doesn’t have to mean that the fun and exploration of summer is over. Parents can take learning to a whole new level by turning ordinary household items, such as eggs, into extraordinary science experiments. This August, the Colorado Egg Producers (CEP) Association helps make the transition into the new school year as inspired as possible with simple, fun and educational science experiments starring what else, the incredible egg.
“Colorado Egg Producers have long known that eggs aren’t only delicious, but are also a great tool for education,” said Bette Blinde, director of the Colorado Foundation for Agriculture. “The unique properties of the shell and the composition of an egg make it a great tool for teaching science. We encourage families and teachers to use eggs to promote science education and fun at the same time.”
Whether it is just for fun or part of a serious science fair project, there are egg experiments for all age and ability levels. Just remember to always wash your hands well with soap and water after handling raw eggs! Find this and other amazing egg experiments courtesy of Steve Spangler Science at ColoradoEggProducers.com in the Just for Kids section.
What you will need:
• Eggs Salt
• Water Three large glasses for the float and sink tests
The Experiment: Squeeze an Egg Without Breaking It
Ever wonder how a hen can sit on an egg and not break it, but a tiny little chick can break through the eggshell with just its beak? It is because eggs are amazingly strong despite their reputation for being so fragile. It’s an egg’s unique shape that gives it tremendous strength. Eggs are similar in shape to a 3-dimensional arch, one of the strongest architectural forms, strongest at the top and the bottom or at the highest point of the arch. Find out for yourself just how incredible an eggs shell is by trying the following experiments at home.
• Place an egg in the palm of your hand. Close your hand so that your fingers are completely wrapped around the egg. Squeeze the egg by applying even pressure all around the shell. If you're a little nervous about the outcome, try sealing the raw egg in a zipper-lock bag before putting the squeeze on, or hold the egg over the sink if you're in the super-brave category. To everyone's amazement the egg will not break.
• Hold an egg between your thumb and forefinger and squeeze the top and bottom of the egg. Are you covered in egg yolk? Why not?
• Hold an egg in the palm of your hand. Press only on one side of the shell. Do not squeeze the egg - just press on the side. Uh oh.
What were the outcomes of your experiments and why do you think they happened? The curved form of the shell distributes pressure evenly all over the shell rather than concentrating it at any one point and that's why the egg doesn't break when you add pressure to both ends. By completely surrounding the egg with your hand, the pressure you apply by squeezing it is distributed evenly all over the egg, so it doesn’t break either. However, eggs do not stand up well to uneven forces, which is why it cracked in your palm when you just pushed on one side.
Another great educational opportunity for families this year is the Colorado State Fair, August 26th through September 5th in Pueblo. Stop by the CEP booth in the Agriculture Pavilion to see the CEP display – learn how eggs are processed and see hens in an actual hen house. The Colorado State Fair is a 140 year-old tradition. More than 480,000 people will walk through the historic gates of the fairgrounds in Pueblo to celebrate youth and agriculture. Don’t miss the fun!
No matter where your family’s educational adventures take you this year, including the Colorado State Fair, be on the look out for “eggs gone egg-streme.” This summer, CEP launched a Colorado Egg-streme contest, where you can enter for a chance to win an iPad 2! Support your local egg farmer and those in need and “like” us on Facebook. For every “like” we will donate an egg to Food Bank of the Rockies on your behalf. Throughout July, August and September upload pictures and videos of yourself, your friends or your family enjoying egg-streme activities with nature’s perfect protein – an egg – to our Wall for your chance to win an iPad2. To enter now, visit facebook.com/COEggProducers.
CEP is a membership organization representing seven farms throughout Colorado. CEP is committed to doing what’s right for its community, as illustrated by the regular donation of thousands of eggs to food banks throughout the state. Egg farmers throughout Colorado pride themselves on providing eggs to Coloradans. We are also proud to offer consumers the choice between cage, cage-free eggs, organic, nutrient enhanced, brown and white eggs. You can find locally produced, fresh, wholesome and safe eggs in the dairy case of your favorite Colorado supermarkets. To see video of how chickens are raised in both cage and cage-free environments or to find a list of where to buy Colorado eggs visit coloradoeggproducers.com.