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What Happened to the Bones!?

August 2, 2012


A bouncing egg next to a raw one!

A bouncing egg next to a raw one!


This activity is fun for kids to do.  Start with an egg or a chicken leg.  Let them example it, see and feel how hard it is, try to bend it.  Then explain that they’ll be doing an experiment to see what happens when you put the egg or chicken bone in vinegar.  To make this a real experiment, you should also have a control.  I used plain water.

Ask your kids what they think will happen to the egg/bone.  After everyone has had an opportunity to make a prediction, gently place the egg/bone into the water and the vinegar bowl or cup.  Using a clear plastic cup lets your students see the progress of the egg without moving the cup over the course of a few days and record what happens each day.

On the third day, take out the egg/bone.

  • Do the two eggs/bones feel different? The egg/bone in the vinegar will feel rubbery and the shell will be gone from the egg.
  • Do they look different?  The egg in the vinegar it will be larger!

You can demonstrate dropping a fresh egg from about 4″ and it will break. Now take one of the test eggs from the vinegar and do it again. It will bounce! Can they bounce their egg? This can get messy, so I recommend doing it outside and going over one simple rule first – no throwing them at anything!  The eggs will break since they have no shell.  Ask them to look and feel the egg like a scientist: how does it feel, how is it different/same?

If you tested a bone, have your students tie it in a knot!  When it dries, it will harden all knotted up and is fun to show off to other kids in the neighborhood!

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