Kids becoming interested in science at a young age? Yes! Any activity can become an opportunity to engage a child in a science exercise that is fun and interesting. December is chemistry month at Copernicus Academy and our kids have been experimenting with many science activities!
One of the activities included exploring the effects of vinegar on egg shells over the course of three days. Kids and teachers talked about how the smelly liquid called vinegar is technically a low concentration of acetic acid which will cause a chemical reaction with the egg’s shell when the egg is submerged. The prediction was that the acid would dissolve the shell, which is made of calcium carbonate. Yes, we do use the real words!
Kids measured the liquid quantities and carefully placed their eggs into a vinegar filled jar. The reaction started pretty soon after! Kids enjoyed watching their eggs start to bubble! Why? The acid in the vinegar reacted with the calcium carbonate in the egg shell, releasing carbon dioxide gas resulting in some pretty cool bubbles on the shell.
After waiting for two very long days, each child collected their sample and we all observed the results of each egg. A few of the eggs definitely did not have an egg shell at all. The eggs inside were not affected and were held inside the membranes. When removed from the jars and vinegar, these eggs were rubbery and even bounced without breaking! Further observations of these particular samples were made about the size of the eggs. These eggs were bigger because some of the vinegar (and water in the vinegar) moved inside the egg. The membranes allowed the water to move through them. This process is called osmosis. That was fun to say!
Another sample did have some of the shell; however, it was easily removed. The shell looked and felt like a deflated balloon. On another sample, where the egg shell cracked prior to submersion, half the shell disappeared, while the other half floated above the vinegar like a small iceberg. The egg white and yolk were not affected and could be seen floating inside the jar. All the samples were observed and kids talked about the differences in results.
This experiment was fun and exciting, but remember that any activity is a chance to have interesting conversations with kids, and make the connections to any science topic. By engaging kids in activities where they are having fun, are playing, and collaborating with friends, kids will learn to not shy away when they hear the words “science” or “math”. That is our goal!