Creating a bouncy egg is fun and easy. All you need is white vinegar, an egg, and a jar or a cup. The first part of the experiment has you simply placing the egg gently in the jar and pouring vinegar into the cup. Next, a caregiver can explain that the process of creating a bouncy egg will take twenty four hours. For that reason, it’s good to do this in the morning so that the child can be present for the experiment and experience of a bouncy egg.
After twenty four hours you can carefully take the egg out of the cup or jar. Although the egg is bouncy, be sure to be very gentle when touching and “bouncing” the egg for it can break very easily.
What makes an egg bounce?
Vinegar is an acetic acid. When calcium carbonate is exposed to an acid it creates a chemical reaction. The calcium carbonate egg shell dissolves, but the membrane inside the shell, surrounding the egg, remains intact. This makes the egg feel rubbery or bouncy.
Here are some guided STEAM questions:
- What did the vinegar do to the outer shell? Why is the egg bouncy?
- If the egg breaks: if it is “bouncy” why did it still break?
- Do you think adding more vinegar or time would make the egg more bouncy?
For an added STEAM experience you can also use other acidic elements such as lemon or grapefruit juice. You can also add food coloring to the vinegar and leave the egg in the mixture for more than twenty four hours. Have fun!