An egg experiment for kids was necessary in our home last week. As we were preparing for some serious egg decorating, we lost track of which bowls contained raw egg or boiled egg. Without having to crack an egg, we used egg physics to help us solve our problem!
After a quick look on the Internet, we found a simple way to solve our problem that doubled as a fun egg experiment and science lesson for the kids.
1. Place the egg in question on a flat surface.
2. Grip it between your thumb and fingertips, and then gently spin it. Emphasize “gently” with your kids, because a raw egg spinning off the table can get messy…I speak from experience!
Raw Egg or Boiled Egg
3. While the egg is spinning, touch the egg lightly enough to make it stop spinning, and then lift your finger off.
4. If the egg is boiled, it will stay in place. If the egg is raw, it will amazingly start spinning again.
So what in the world is going on?
This is a perfect example of inertia and Newton’s Law of Motion, which states that a body in motion will stay in motion until acted upon by another force.
The egg shell and its content are spinning along together. When you stop the egg from spinning, you stop the egg shell from moving, but the inside of the raw egg is liquid and just keeps spinning around. Eventually, the friction of the egg shell will slowly stop the liquid center from spinning, and the egg will come to rest.
Inside the hard boiled egg, the mass is solid. When the egg shell stops, the center of the egg cannot move anywhere, so it is forced to stop with the egg shell.
Try this egg experiment with your kids, but before you explain to them how it works, ask them for a theory on why the raw egg or boiled egg spins differently.
Egg Drop Experiment
One of my favorite experiments in 6th grade science was the Egg Drop Experiment! Our teacher gave us almost two week’s worth of class time to work with a partner and research the best way to safely contain our raw egg so that it wouldn’t break when dropped from the stairwell of the top floor of the school.
This is a great way to interest kids in science, because it allows them to take control and find the best way to solve a problem, using scientific principals to their advantage! For my project, I remember using a ton of bubble wrap inside of a styrofoam container, but unfortunately, my egg didn’t make it.
While we are on that topic, my teacher was pretty brave in allowing us to do this inside of the school (probably thanks to some supportive janitors). It can be super messy! I would recommend doing this outside, i.e. maybe dropping your egg out of an upstairs window, into your yard (with a parent either doing the actual drop, or standing right next to the child, supervising).
It’s really cool to see what kids come up with for this experiment!
More Egg STEM Activities
For more egg experiments and kids activities with eggs, hop on over to these fun ideas:
Have you ever tried an egg experiment in the classroom or at home? Tell us about it in the comments below!