Your young scientists will go mad for this Halloween-themed experiment that creates squishy, shriveled Alien Monster Eggs (using vinegar and corn syrup).
- A large jar
- Whole raw eggs (in the shell)
- Vinegar (white or cider)
- Corn syrup
- Food coloring
- Permanent marker
- The eggs need to sit overnight in vinegar and corn syrup so, plan ahead!
- Wash your hands after handling raw eggs.
- Try not to splash vinegar in your eyes because it will sting.
What to Do
Step 1: Pull out some permanent markers and let your kids draw an eyeball on two of the eggs that you’re going to put in the jar. Tell them that the marker will dissolve in the vinegar, along with the eggshells.
Step 2: Ask your young scientists to carefully place the raw eggs into a jar.
Step 3: Let your kids cover the eggs with vinegar. Ask what they think the vinegar will do to the eggs.
Step 4: Put the jar of eggs in the refrigerator overnight. Have your kids check on them every few hours to observe what's happening. Is the marker coming off with the bubbles?
Step 5: Take the eggs out of the vinegar. Gently rinse them with water and rub off any remaining shell. Only the membrane of the egg will remain. Ask your kids to describe how the eggs feel.
Step 6. To shrivel the eggs, rinse the jar and let your kids gently put the eggs back inside. Cover them with corn syrup and let your young scientists add some green food coloring.
Step 7. Leave the eggs in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Help your kids remove them from the jar again and describe how they’ve changed.
Step 8. Creative Enrichment (optional): Rinse the eggs again and submerge them in water overnight (in the fridge). What happens?
The Science Behind the Fun
Egg shells are made up of hard calcium carbonate crystals. Vinegar can break these crystals apart, dissolving the shell. When this happens, carbon dioxide bubbles form. Did you see bubbles?
Every egg has a balloon-like membrane under its shell that allows water to pass back and forth. Corn syrup is full of sugar, which pulls water out of the eggs, causing them to shrivel up.
© Quarry Books, 2016/Outdoor Science Lab for Kids
Featured Photos Credit: © Quarry Books