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Naked Egg

Make a bouncy, see-through egg


  • Mason jar or other airtight container with lid
  • White vinegar
  • Egg
Safety Notes:
When handling raw egg shells or insides, wash your hands after handling - and avoid consuming raw eggs. And of course, broken eggs can get messy, so take this into consideration when you decide where to do your experiment! 

Instructions:TRY naked egg 3

  1. Carefully, place the egg in the airtight container.
  2. Add white vinegar to the container until the egg is completely covered. If the egg starts to float, that’s okay, just fill the container.
  3. Look for bubbles as the chemical reaction starts. Wait for the bubbles to slow down.
  4. Secure the lid on the container to make it airtight.
  5. Set your egg container in a cool place, and keep an eye on it for about a week. Be sure to wash your hands after handling the raw egg!
  6. After a week, open the container, pour out the vinegar, and rinse your egg gently with water. Carefully, tip the container so the egg slides into your hand. Don’t use a spoon or other utensil to scoop the egg out of the container as it will likely puncture the egg.
  7. Gently, rub the rest of the eggshell off while running the egg under water.
  8. Now, go outside or somewhere that can get messy (like the kitchen sink), and play with it! The eggshell should be gone and your egg should be swollen and bouncy!
  9. When you’re done playing, clean up any mess and wash your hands as raw eggs can carry salmonella. Your egg should not be consumed, just throw it away.

Take it further:TRY naked egg 1

  • Try gently bouncing your egg in the kitchen sink or on a sidewalk. How high does it bounce? How high can you drop it from without the egg popping when it hits the bottom?
  • When you're done bouncing the egg, pop it! What does the inside feel like? Does the yolk feel the same as a yolk from a raw egg? How does it feel different?
  • If you don't want to pop your egg, let it sit, open to air, until the water evaporates. Now, what does the egg look like? Feel like? Does it still bounce? How long did it take for the water to evaporate? If you don’t want to wait, submerge your egg in corn syrup. What happens?
  • Do an experiment: Make multiple eggs and use different amounts of vinegar (1 cup, 1.5 cups, etc.) Which shell dissolves first? Weigh your eggs before and after, which one took in the most water? Which is bounciest? Can you determine in which reactions your vinegar was the limiting reagent?
  • Soak your egg is a cup of water for an extra day or two. How much water can you get the egg to absorb? How big can the egg get?

What's going on?

White vinegar is acetic acid, and the eggshell is mostly calcium carbonate. The acetic acid reacts with the calcium carbonate to form calcium acetate, carbon dioxide (the bubbles you see), and water, resulting in a dissolved eggshell.

CaCO3 (s) + 2 HC2H3O2 (aq) → Ca(C2H3O2)2 (aq) + H2O (l) + CO2 (g)TRY naked egg 2

Most household white vinegar is only 5% acetic acid with the other 95% being water. When one of the two reactants in the chemical equation is used up, the reaction stops because it’s out of ingredients. In this reaction, the acetic acid is likely to be the limiting reagent, and that’s why some of the eggshell needs to be washed away – there wasn’t enough acetic acid to completely dissolve the shell.

Another process happens at the same time and causes the egg to swell. The water in the vinegar crosses the egg's membrane by osmosis and stretches the membrane, making the egg bigger. The membrane holds the egg together even though there is no shell, but water can pass through because the membrane is semipermeable. Osmosis is the scientific term for this movement into and out of the membrane, and the goal is to make the amount of water on each side of the egg membrane equal. If you put your egg in corn syrup, the egg shrinks because the water is leaving; there is less water in the syrup than in the egg, so water has to leave the egg until the two sides have equal amounts. If you let your egg sit open to air for a few days, the semipermeable membrane allows the water to evaporate until your egg shrinks and you are left with the yolk in the membrane.

Marshmallow Waves

Measure the speed of light with some sticky sweets and a microwave


  • Microwave
  • Microwave-safe dish (at least 5-6 inches across)
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Ruler
  • Calculator

Instructions:TRY marsh waves 2

  1. Line the bottom of the dish (the longer the better) with the mini marshmallows to make one full layer, one marshmallow thick.
  2. If your microwave platform rotates, remove the rotation device, so the dish stays in one place. This includes the turntable support in the center of the microwave. If you can’t or don’t want to remove this piece, set a microwave safe bowl upside down over the center of the microwave bottom. Make sure the bowl does not touch the rotating turntable support.
  3. Put the dish in the microwave, and ensure it is level and will not rotate. Run the microwave for 15 seconds.
  4. Remove the dish and observe the marshmallows. Only certain parts of the marshmallow layer should be melted.
    Note: Time may be dependent on the microwave power. If all of your marshmallows melted, start over and try less time and lower power. If none of your marshmallows melted, keep going a couple of seconds at a time until you see some melted areas and some not melted areas. Don’t let the marshmallows cook for too long; burnt marshmallows make for a messy clean-up!
  5. Now, measure the distance (in centimeters) between the melted areas of marshmallows using the ruler. This distance is equal to half the wavelength of your microwave. If you get different measurements between different areas, take an average.
  6. Find the sticker on your microwave that tells you the frequency in Hertz (Hz). Most microwaves are around 2450 Megahertz (MHz).
  7. Plug your numbers into the following equation to calculate the speed of light:
    Speed of light = 2 x (distance between melted areas, in cm) x (frequency of microwave, in Hz)
    Note: MHz = 106 Hz
  8. The actual speed of light is 3.00 x 1010 cm/s. How close were you? If you didn’t get exactly the right number, why do you think that happened? Where might error have been introduced?
  9. Enjoy your melted marshmallows! Scoop some marshmallow onto a graham cracker and add a piece of chocolate for an easy s’more!TRY marsh waves 1

Take it further:

  • If your marshmallows didn’t exactly melt, what did happen to them? Did you notice any patterns?
  • Try using a longer dish. How many melted areas can you get in one dish?
    Try different foods like chocolate chips, cheese, or egg white. Which melts or cooks fastest? With which food is it easiest to measure the distance between “hot spots”? Do you get the same value for the speed of light with each food?
  • Look up the electromagnetic spectrum on the Internet. Where do microwaves fall on the spectrum? Where is visible light? Can you figure out how microwaves and visible light waves are different? Do you recognize any other types of electromagnetic radiation on the spectrum?

What’s going on?

You should have observed a pattern melted into your marshmallow layer. Why didn’t all of the marshmallows melt at the same time?

Microwaves are a type of electromagnetic radiation, like visible light. We can’t see them because they are outside of the range of visible light. A microwave oven generates a standing wave inside the oven. A standing wave is a wave that is reflected back and forth and interferes with itself, creating peaks with higher amplitude and troughs with zero amplitude. The wave peaks heat faster than the troughs and lead to “hot spots” in the microwave; these are the areas where the marshmallows melted. The distance between “hot spots” is half the wavelength of the standing wave in the oven, so the equation multiplies by two.

Microwaves work well for cooking food because the waves are at an energy that can be easily absorbed by molecules common in food, especially water molecules. The absorbed energy heats the food thereby cooking it. Be sure to put the rotating plate back in your microwave! The rotation ensures that all parts of the food go through the “hot” and “cold” spots in the microwave to cook food evenly.

TRY micro waves

"For a tasty end to your experiment, our testers suggested adding chocolate chips or chocolate sauce and broken graham crackers to the marshmallows, and taste-testing the result!"

Whoa! Don't Fall Over! TRY athlete ball 8 2016 IMG 3555 web

Try training like an Olympic athlete.


  • Smooth-surfaced, solid wall
  • Tennis ball or other similar-sized bouncy ball


  1. Stand facing the wall about a foot away holding the ball.
  2. Balance on one foot. Raise your foot high up and behind you so it is level with your knee.
  3. Bounce the ball off the wall and try to catch it all while balancing on one foot!
  4. Try to keep going for at least 30 seconds without falling over or putting your foot down.
  5. Keep practicing until you can bounce the ball and continuously balance for a full 60 seconds.

Take it further:

  1. When you can balance for a full minute, try backing up and starting farther from the wall. Is it still easy to throw and catch without tipping over?
  2. Switch feet! Is your balance the same? Which foot is easier to balance on? Why do you think that is?
  3. Try throwing the ball with your non-dominant hand. Is it harder to control the ball? Is it harder to balance and catch the ball?
  4. For a real challenge, use your non-dominant hand to throw and catch while standing on your non-dominant foot!

What’s going on?

Athletes depend on good balance and spatial awareness to help them excel. Spatial awareness is knowing where you and objects around you are compared to your surrounding environment. This is important for athletes because they need to understand and direct, to a high degree of accuracy, how their body parts move in relation to each other, and how their body moves in relation to their teammates, competitors, equipment, and environment.

In this activity, you are training your balance and spatial awareness. This can help improve your agility and coordination, which are essential skills for athletic performance and injury prevention. If you start to tip over while the ball is bouncing off the wall, your muscles and balance sensors (inside your inner ear) will react to keep you upright while your spatial awareness will adjust to help you sense where the ball is as you move into a different position, enabling you to catch it.

To maintain your balance, you need to keep your center of gravity over your base. When you stand on two feet, your center of gravity is in the center of you (around your belly button), but when you stand on one foot, you have to shift your weight over the foot that is still on the ground or you will fall over. This weight transfer shifts your center of gravity over your base leg to help you stay balanced. As you continue practicing, you will improve your ability to lean and bend (which shifts your center of gravity) while staying balanced because your muscles will be stronger and will be able to pull you back to a balanced position more quickly. With this type of training, you could be on your way to becoming an Olympic gymnast, swimmer, or track star!

Fireworks in a Glass

Make your own colorful creations with liquids in a clear glass container.

They mimic the spread of fireworks in the sky, but you can see these “fireworks” even in the daytime!

Materials:TRY fireworks drops

  • 1 tall glass or large Mason jar
  • 1 short glass or small Mason jar
  • Food coloring, multiple colors
  • 2-3 Tbsp. cooking oil
  • Warm water
  • Measuring spoons
  • Fork


  1. Fill your tall glass about ¾ full of warm water.TRY fireworks jar to jar
  2. In your smaller glass, add 2-3 Tbsp. of cooking oil and drops of food coloring. About three drops per color should be plenty, and try to use one or two colors to start.
  3. Use the fork to disperse the food coloring in the oil. To do this, gently zig-zag the fork back and forth through the oil just a few times to break up the food coloring drops.
  4. Slowly, pour your oil and coloring mix into the tall glass of water.
  5. Watch as the water in the glass erupts with colorful underwater fireworks!

Take it further:

  • When you mix the food coloring with the fork, do the drops collide? What happens then? Did you see any colors you weren’t expecting? How many different colors can you make?
  • Try it again with a different kind of oil (vegetable, canola, olive). Do the drops fall faster through one oil than another?
  • What happens if you use two types of oil at once? Do they separate from each other like they do from the water?
  • What happens if you sprinkle some salt in your glass? Which liquid does it dissolve in? What does this tell you about salt? Try it with sugar. Is there a difference?

TRY fireworks completeWhat’s going on?

A helpful reminder in chemistry says, “Like dissolves like.” This means that only molecules and compounds with similar properties can dissolve one another. In the case of oil and water, the two liquids do not mix because they are not “like” compounds.Water is polar – each water molecule has a negative end and a positive end. This polarity makes water molecules stick to each other. Oil on the other hand, is nonpolar. There are no negative or positive charges, so water does not stick to oil; it would rather stick to itself. This explains why the oil and water don’t mix, but why does the oil stay on the top of the glass? Oil floats on water because it is less dense than water. Oil is less dense than water because there are fewer oil molecules than water molecules in any given volume. What about the food coloring? The food coloring is water-based, so it does not dissolve in the oil. When we pour the food coloring and the oil into the jar, the food coloring falls through the oil because it is denser. The color drops are also a little bit denser than water because of the color dye molecules, so the drops fall through the water too. But as they fall through the water, they begin to dissolve. This diffuses the drops outward and makes the ‘fireworks” effect.



Edible Science: Ice Cream

Shake off the heat with a cool, tasty treat!


You will need:

Ice cream ingredients

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract


  • 4 cups ice cubes
  • ½ cup rock salt or ice cream salt
  • 2 zip seal quart-size freezer bags
  • 1 zip seal gallon-size bag
  • Kitchen towel or gloves or oven mitts
  • Measuring spoons
  • Measuring cup
  • Timer or clock


  1. Add your ingredients (milk, sugar, vanilla) to one of the quart-size bags. Remove excess air from the bag and seal it so it is shut tight.
  2. “Double bag” it: Place your bag of ingredients inside a second quart-size bag, remove the air, and seal completely.
  3. Open the gallon-size bag, place your ice cream ingredients bag inside, then add ice and salt, remove any excess air, and seal the gallon bag shut.
  4. This next part can get messy – go outside! Use gloves, oven mitts, or a towel to help you hold the bag. The outer bag will be cold and will get wet and drippy as the ice melts.
  5. Set your timer or note the time and start SHAKING the bag!! Continue shaking for five minutes.
  6. Check your ingredients bag. Is your ice cream ready to eat? If not, keep shaking! Continue checking your ingredients every five minutes. Is your ice cream freezing?
  7. When your ice cream is thick enough, check your timer and note how long it took to freeze, then open your small ice cream bag and … EAT!

Take it further:

  1. Why did you add salt to your ice? Do different kinds of salt (table salt, kosher salt, sea salt) have different effects? Which one works best?
  2. Try it again without the salt. Does your ice cream freeze?
  3. Do different types of milk or cream give different tastes? Does one freeze in less than five minutes? Try the recipe with heavy whipping cream or half & half to compare to whole milk.
  4. Try making different flavors using fruit extracts or chocolate syrup. Can you make a custom flavor like strawberry vanilla?

Where’s the science?

The freezing point of a liquid depends on how many things are dissolved in the liquid. Milk, for example, is water with a bunch of things dissolved or dispersed in it, like fat, sugar, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Milk is actually an emulsion because the fat and protein molecules are suspended in the water instead of dissolved. Your ice cream is an emulsion too! When you add the sugar and vanilla to your milk, you’ve added more things (solutes) to the water (solvent). Adding all of these solutes makes it harder to freeze the solution, so the freezing point goes down. We now have a solution that freezes at a lower temperature than water. How do we get colder than ice?
To get your ice cold enough to freeze your ice cream, we added salt. The salt (solute) dissolves in the water (solvent) and lowers the freezing point of the water, so your ice gets colder and doesn’t melt as fast. The salt and water solution now has a lower freezing point than your ice cream emulsion, which means the ice gets cold enough to freeze your ice cream!

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