The Transparent Egg and the Bouncy Egg

By Kelly MacNeil

October 12, 2012

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Every week we feature a fun and/or educational activity you can try at home or in the classroom. Since this is World Egg Day, we thought we’d share a fun experiment dealing with eggs and their shells.

Eggs protect their nutritious contents with a strong but brittle shell. We tested the amazing strength of eggshells in a previous activity. But what would an egg be like without such a hard protective shell? In this activity, we’ll be able to make an egg bounce without cracking, and even see inside of one.

egg activity Heifer InternationalPhoto by

For this experiment, you’ll need:

  • One raw egg
  • One hard-boiled egg
  • Vinegar
  • Two jars or glasses

Put the raw egg and the hardboiled egg in a jar or glass and cover them both with vinegar. You’ll notice bubbles forming; that means the experiment is working. The raw egg may also expand as it absorbs some of the vinegar.

Photo by

Leave the eggs in the vinegar for 24-36 hours. After that time, brush any remaining shell off and gently see if you can bounce the eggs on a countertop (careful with the raw egg!)

What happened here? The acetic acid of the vinegar reacted with the calcium carbonate in the egg shell. The membrane inside the egg shell continued to hold the egg together.

At Heifer, we think eggs are amazing in more ways than one. Eggs provide lots of protein as well as valuable vitamins. Find out how you can give the gift of chickens, ducks, or geese to help a family meet its needs.