Egg Science Project

An egg science project is a great way to experience science in a way that you can see and touch.

egg science project

If you need help with everything related to a science project or a science fair project, you may want to start from our homepage. 

Background

Eggs are made of particular kinds of cells found in female animals. Most animals produce eggs and some lay them outside their bodies - like birds. For eggs that are laid outside the bodies of the mother, the eggs have a hard coating that protects it from damage. We are going to assume you are interested in these types of eggs - those commonly attainable as chicken or duck eggs.

The contents of an egg include: proteins, fats, vitamins, and carbohydrates. These materials are meant to be used by a chick (baby animal) that would develop inside the egg - farmers collect eggs from domesticated animals (chickens) before they are fertilized (before a baby animal is started inside the egg) so that we can use what's inside the egg for food.

You may get more ideas for an egg science project 

To jump to a particular area, pick from: Background, Spun Eggs, Swimming Eggs, Sinking Eggs, The Egg Drop, Hydrodynamics, or From Eggs to Chicks. 

Spun Eggs

Ever wonder how you can tell the difference between a raw egg and one that's been hard boiled? Try this simple egg science project: you will need two eggs (one raw and one hard-boiled) and a large flat surface area (like a large kitchen table.) Take the raw egg, set it on it's side and then try to spin it with your fingers.

Notice how you cannot seem to get it to spin more then a few rotations a second. Now take the hard-boiled egg and try the same spinning maneuver - now with this one, you can really get it to spin fast - in fact, if you spin it faster than about ten revolutions a second, it will actually stand on end as it spins!

Why does the raw egg spin slowly? The fluid inside the raw egg will slide inside the egg as you try to spin it - so most of the mass of the egg does not attain the rotational velocity you are trying to put into it. Since most of the mass of the egg is in the fluid, the egg tends to stabilize at a rotational velocity equal to that of the fluid - much slower the you tried to spin it at.

A hard-boiled egg, on the other hand, has most of it's mass as a solid and so will attain the same rotational velocity as the spin you give the egg and will spin faster than the raw egg will.

Why does the hard-boiled egg stand on end if you spin it fast enough? That gets a little technical for this egg science project, but the upshot is that it becomes 'easier' for the egg to spin on end than on it's side, so it trades kinetic energy (it's spin on it's side) for potential energy (standing on end - there is now energy to be regained when it falls back down.)

For more information about this phenomenon, check out this NPR article. 

Swimming Eggs, Sinking Eggs

This egg science project requires a clear container large enough to hold a few glasses of water, a raw egg and some salt or sugar or both.

When you place an ordinary egg in a vessel of water, does it float or sink? The answer has to do with density: if the egg is denser than the liquid surrounding it, it will sink and if the liquid is denser than the egg, the egg will float. What do you think will happen if the density of the egg is equal to that of the liquid?

There are many ways to do this experiment, just be sure to follow the correct procedure when doing an experiment so you can repeat it if need be and report on it later. One way to start is to fill your container with plain tap water and then place an egg at the top of the waterline and let the egg go. Does it float or sink? Then try adding salt or sugar to the water - does the egg sink if it was floating (or float up if it was sunk?)

You may want to place a soft cloth at the bottom of your vessel to prevent the egg from cracking if it sinks too quickly during your experimentation. 

The Egg Drop

This egg science project is a bit more advanced than the others, and requires more preparation. The experiment, in brief, involves making a container that will hold an egg and prevent the egg from being damaged when that container is dropped from a pre-determined height.

If you'd like to try this egg science project it would be a good idea to setup the parameters of your experiment first: what kind of materials do you plan to use, at what height are you going to drop the egg, what kind of surface will the container be dropped onto, and so on. If you have the mathematical and physics knowledge, you may want to determine the forces involved and make predications about the outcome of the experiment using various modeled containers.

This can be an exciting egg science project, but it requires a significant time invest to do it properly - and it may help to do it in a group so that the work can be divided up.

There are many ways to solve this problem depending on the height from which the egg container is dropped and onto what surface it is dropped. The problem gets much more difficult to solve for every foot of height that is added - do you know why that might be? 

Hydrodynamics

Does an egg go through water faster than some other kind of shape of equal size? Here is a middle school egg science project that tries to answer that question. 


From Eggs to Chicks

This egg science project should only be attempted by adults or students with adult supervision.

If you can get fertilized eggs from a farm or other supplier (you can check a local feed store for information about where to get eggs,) you can hatch your own chicks from these eggs in about three weeks.

You will need an incubator (these go for about $50) and another warm (98-99 degrees Fahrenheit) area to keep the chicks that's available for about a week after they hatch. About a month after hatching you can give them to local farmers.

Before purchasing your eggs, you will want to turn on the incubator and let it normalize to a temperature of 99F. Once you put the eggs in the incubator you will need to turn them about 3 times a day. Mark the eggs with a pencil so you can keep track of how often you turned them that day.

Stop turning the eggs about 3 days before (18 days after placing in incubator) they hatch in order to allow the chicks to orient themselves and be able to hatch in the right direction (up and out.)

You can track the development of the chicks inside the eggs by holding up an egg and placing a bright light behind it in order to see inside the egg. "Inside An Egg" by Sylvia Johnson is book you can use to get insight into egg development.

Once the eggs hatch, be you will need to put them into the warm enclosure mentioned earlier for about a week, and they will need some special feed (available from a feed store.)

There are many avenues available to report on for the actual science project - the development of the chicks, size differences in the eggs as related to egg development speed, and a multitude of others. Be sure to handle this project with care, however, you are dealing with living creatures!

This is a great egg science project with a significant time investment. If you are contemplating doing this project for a science project or for a science fair - read the rules for your event to be sure this kind of experiment (live animals) is allowed.





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