Grab your kids and an egg (or three), and get ready to blow your kids’ minds with this eggsperiment! At the end of this experiment my daughter looked at me and said, “This is the best experiment we have ever done!” We have done 90 experiments over the years for this blog, so those words mean a lot coming from her!
In this post and YouTube video we test soaking eggs in 3 different liquids: water, coke, and vinegar. There is educational value to experimenting with all 3 liquids, as I’ll explain in the STEAM Concepts Learned section below. But I will be honest with you: the vinegar reaction is far and away the best part of this experiment. If you only have one egg to spare, just do the vinegar. If you happen to have 3 eggs, you might want to do all 3 in the vinegar… 😉
A fair warning for before you begin: this is a multi-day experiment. You or your kids may read the title and expect to see the bouncy egg quickly, but it will take at least 2 days to see the results.
I think I’ve hyped this long enough, so let’s get started! First, watch our YouTube video where we walk you through the whole experiment, step by step, and explain the science along the way. Then, keep reading below for my full step-by-step instructions with photos that you can come back to time again for summer STEAM Activity fun!
- 3 raw eggs
- 3 small bowls or cups
Note: If you’re only using vinegar you’ll do steps 1, 4 to 7, and 12 to 16.
- Place one egg in each of the 3 small bowls
- Pour enough water into the first bowl to completely cover the egg
- Pour enough Coke into the second bowl to completely cover the egg
- Pour enough vinegar into the third bowl to completely cover the egg
- Make an observation about each of the eggs in the liquid. What do you see happening? We observed bubbles all over the egg in the vinegar, a few on the egg in the Coke, and nothing on the egg in the water bowl.
- Set the bowls aside for 2 days. This wait is the hardest part of the experiment!
- After 2 days, bring out the 3 bowls you set aside, and it’s also helpful to grab some paper towels and plates.
- Pull out the egg from the water bowl and dry it with a towel. Make observations about the egg shell – has it changed color or texture? Ours had no change.
- Optional but fun: drop the water egg from about a foot high and see what happens. Ours cracked open and looked like a normal egg inside.
- Pull out the egg from the Coke bowl and dry it with a towel. Make observations about the egg shell – has it changed color or texture? Ours had been stained dark brown, the color of the Coke.
- Optional but fun: drop the Coke egg from about a foot high and see what happens. Ours cracked open and looked like a normal egg inside.
- Carefully pull out the egg from the vinegar bowl and gently dry it with a towel. Make observations about the egg shell – has it changed color or texture? Ours was almost double it’s original size, and soft because the egg shell had dissolved!
- Gently wash the vinegar egg under water to completely remove any remnants of the shell. It will now look like a smooth see-through egg!
- Spend time gently touching the vinegar egg. What does it feel like? Ours felt smooth, rubbery, and squishy.
- Try bouncing the vinegar egg from very short heights (6 inches or less), and observe what happens. Ours bounced and rolled!
- Optional but fun: drop the vinegar egg from about a foot high and see what happens. Ours BURST open and splattered us with liquid! It was filled with the normal yolk and white of the egg, and also vinegar! We were also able to observe the membrane that was under the shell.
STEAM Concepts Learned:
The water egg was done as a control for the experiment. Water has a similar pH to the egg and also our body and teeth. This is why the egg shell was not affected by the water, so it remained unchanged throughout the experiment.
I included the Coke egg in the experiment to show my kids what drinking too much Coke and not brushing can do to their teeth. Egg shells and our teeth enamel have similar properties – both contain calcium carbonate. The Coke contains acid and sugar. It doesn’t have as much acid as the vinegar so it didn’t dissolve the shell as the vinegar did, but it would have if we left it in the Coke for longer (and we saw the CO2 bubbles form from the chemical reaction like in the vinegar).
The Coke stained the egg shell because of the sugar and dark colors in it. The sugar forms plaque on your teeth which will become a home to bacteria. If left unbrushed the bacteria will create acid which will eventually eat away the enamel on the teeth.
I think my kids really listened to my explanation about Coke staining their teeth. I let them drink Coke on occasion, but I’d like them to see it more as a special treat, and understand the importance of brushing their teeth well after drinking dark colored and sugary drinks.
The vinegar egg was the most exciting because a chemical reaction occurred to dissolve the eggshell. The acetic acid in the vinegar reacted with calcium carbonate in the shell and this chemical reaction eventually dissolves the shell. One product of the reaction is carbon dioxide – and that’s why we saw the little bubbles all over the egg!
Once the shell dissolved the egg is left with its membrane intact, but it’s a thin, semi-permeable membrane, so vinegar was able to get inside the egg making it swell! This thin membrane is strong enough to allow the egg to bounce (from short heights), but if dropped from too high it will burst open.
My kids absolutely loved this experiment! They had so much fun observing the eggs, breaking open the eggs, bouncing the vinegar egg, then finally playing with the insides of the broken eggs.
If you try this experiment I hope you and your kids have as much fun with it as we did! Let us know how you liked it in the comments.