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The Incredible Flexible Egg Experiment

Fifth Grade Physical Science Activities: The Incredible Flexible Egg Experiment

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In the Air

You don't have to be an egghead to know that science can be fun. Show your child a trick where the ordinary becomes extraordinary!

In this experiment, a hard-boiled egg will fit through an impossibly small opening with the help of only a few matches. Your child will be amazed, and you'll be teaching her how seemly impossible acts are anything but—with the help of a little science!

What You Need:

  • Adult helper
  • Hard-boiled egg
  • Glass bottle with opening slightly smaller than egg (apple cider or juice bottles work well)
  • Matches

What You Do:

  1. Hard-boil an egg. (You may want to hard-boil several eggs at a time to do the trick more than once.) Remove the pot from the stove and place the pot and egg under cold running water for a few minutes. Let the egg cool.
  2. Remove the egg from the water and have your child peel the shell.
  3. Have your child place the egg on the opening of the bottle let him see that the egg will not simply fall into the bottle. Tell him it's possible to get this egg to go into the bottle in one piece.
  4. You should lit two matches and quickly drop them into the bottle. Have your child quickly place the egg on top of the bottle, wait a few seconds, and watch the egg drop into the bottle.

How it works:

When you drop matches into the bottle, the air heats up. As the heated air expands, some of it comes out of the bottle. When the match flames go out, the air inside the bottle cools and contracts. The egg on the bottle creates a seal. The pressure inside the bottle is now less than the pressure outside the bottle, and since nature prefers things to be equal, the egg is forced into the bottle. To get the egg out of the bottle, heat the bottle or blow into it. The increased air pressure will force the egg back out. After this activity your child will be furiously reading her science book to learn more great tricks!

Recommended Books:

Adapted with permission from "It's Not Magic, It's Science!" by Hope Buttitta (Lark Books 2007), a collection of fifty tricks based on scientific principles, from balancing bottles to jumping eggs.

Updated on Oct 15, 2012
Printable Workbooks from Education.com
Find a printable workbook to go along with this fun activity. See Workbooks
See more activities in: Fifth Grade, Physical Science
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