The egg in vinegar experiment, also known as the naked egg experiment, rubber egg experiment, or bouncy egg activity. This is a fun science experiment demonstrating the concepts of chemical reactions, osmosis, and semi-permeable membranes.
The bouncy egg experiment is perfect for kids who love interactive science and kitchen experiments. It’s simple, easy to do, and requires inexpensive, readily available materials.
This STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) activity encourages kids to practice their observation skills, record their observations in a science journal or notebook, and learn about the underlying science concepts.
This is a surprisingly fun experiment. In this project, not only can you make a raw egg grow, but you can also hold it in your bare hand like a hard-boiled egg when it's still raw.
You can also drop it on the table and it bounces.
It sounds amazing, doesn't it? Let's get started on this exciting experiment!
Caution: After handling raw eggs, always wash your hands well with soap and water. Some raw eggs may contain Salmonella germ. Illness from Salmonella can be serious and life-threatening.
- a raw egg
- a deep bowl
- white vinegar
- adult supervision
- Put the raw egg in the deep bowl.
- Fill the bowl with white vinegar until the entire egg is submerged (or floating).
- Leave the bowl at a place where it won't be disturbed for a few days.
- Observe carefully everyday what happens to the egg. You should see the eggshell dissolve over the next few days.
- After the eggshell is gone, leave the egg there for two more days.
- After a week, you should see a soft and semi-transparent egg that is bigger in size than before.
- Take the egg out, rinse it under tap water and play with it.
- Try to bounce it off the ground and see how high you can drop it from without breaking it. (Start low!)
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
In this simple experiment, we first see an acid-base reaction. Eggshells contain calcium carbonate as the base, while fresh vinegar contains acetic acid.
When an egg is submerged in vinegar, the acetic acid reacts with the calcium carbonate in the eggshell, leading to a classic acid-base chemical reaction.
This reaction results in the formation of calcium acetate and carbon dioxide gas.
The calcium acetate stays dissolved in the vinegar, while the carbon dioxide forms bubbles around the egg as the eggshell dissolves.
The bubbles of carbon dioxide contribute to the brown scum or frothy layer on the surface of the vinegar as the reaction progresses.
As the calcium carbonate in the eggshell breaks down, the inner semi-permeable membrane of the egg becomes more visible. This membrane is made up of soft, rubbery, and fragile materials that contribute to the bouncy nature of the egg after the experiment.
The egg membrane acts as a selective barrier, allowing the flow of water molecules and other small molecules across it while restricting the passage of larger molecules and ions.
This membrane allows the vinegar on the outside to move through, or permeate, to the inside through osmosis.
Osmosis is the movement of water molecules from an area of higher concentration to a lower concentration through a semi-permeable membrane.
In the context of the egg in a vinegar science experiment, osmosis occurs when the vinegar, which has a higher concentration of water molecules than the contents of the egg, moves through the semi-permeable egg membrane into the egg.
The water flow causes the egg to increase in size as the water concentration levels inside and outside the egg gradually equalize.
Besides the egg in vinegar experiment, numerous fun science activities involved similar principles and concepts.
For example, the egg in corn syrup experiment is another fascinating activity demonstrating osmosis in action.
In this simple science experiment, an egg with its shell already dissolved (similar to the one obtained in the vinegar experiment) is placed in a container containing corn syrup, a highly concentrated sugar solution.
Osmosis occurs when water flows out of the egg into the syrup. This resulted in the shrinking of the egg.
A flashlight or a UV flashlight (blacklight flashlight) can also be used in conjunction with the egg in vinegar experiment to create an intriguing visual science experiment.
After the eggshell has dissolved and the egg has become translucent. Shining a flashlight through the egg highlights the structure and contents of the egg, revealing the yolk suspended within the membrane.
The egg in vinegar experiment is an engaging and interactive science activity that provides a simple and effective way to introduce children to scientific principles such as chemical reactions, osmosis, and semi-permeable membranes.
By performing this experiment and similar activities, kids can develop their observation and analytical skills, understand the relevance of everyday materials in scientific experimentation, and foster a lifelong interest in science and learning.