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Vinegar is an acid. Eggshells are made of calcium carbonate. If you soak an egg in vinegar the eggshell will absorb the acid and break down, or dissolve. The calcium carbonate will become carbon dioxide gas, which will go into the air. What is left is the soft tissue that lined the inside of the eggshell.
Science Experiment Idea: Make three bouncing eggs. Soak one egg in vinegar for 24 hours (1 day), one egg for 48 hours (2 days) and one egg for 36 hours (3 days). How do the eggs look when done soaking? How does each egg behave when you try to bounce it? Hint: BOUNCE OUTSIDE!
Here are some websites that will help you understands acids and how they behave:
- Chem4Kids: Acids and Bases
- BBC KS3 Bitsize: Acids and Bases and Metals
- Fact Monster: Making Eggs That Bounce
- Planet Science: Can You Make an Egg Bounce?
- BBC Bang Goes the Theory: Rubber Egg
Here are some books that will help you investigate bouncing eggs.
- Google Preview: How to Make a Bouncing Egg
- Google Preview: Science Experiments That Surprise and Delight (Bouncing Egg page 22-23)
- Google Preview: Naked Eggs and Flying Potatoes (Naked Egg page 83-87)
- Kitchen Science Experiments: Naked Eggs (pages 45-47)
Words to Know:
Acid – A chemical that is often sour tasting and corrosive. It dissolves some things.
Dissolve – When a solid comes apart and spreads out into a liquid…like kool aid in water.
Calcium - One of the most common minerals found in animals bodies. It makes up bones, teeth, and eggshells.
Absorb – To soak up…like a sponge in water.