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Egg-Cellent: Dissolving Eggshells in Vinegar

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Let's use some knowledge of acidic propreties to see the inside of the egg without cracking it open.  We're not yolking around with this one!

Grade Level:

Lesson Type:
Guided Inquiry

Relevant Standard:
PA 3.2.4.A4. Recognize that combining two or more substances may make new materials with different properties.


The students will observe and record changes in property made to an egg as its shell dissolves in vinegar.


Nutritional Objective:

(Insert Nutritional Obj. Here)


A few raw eggs

A few jars with lids (clear pickle or jelly jars)

White Vinegar

A spoon

Fabric Measuring Tape

Learning Activities:

*It is important to always wash your hands after handling raw eggs, as they may contain salmonella.

  1. Day One: Observe the egg. What does it look like? How does the shell feel? Take a measurement of the egg and record your observations.

  2. To set up this experiement you will need to place one egg in each jar. Pour enough vinegar in the jar to cover the egg. Place the lid back on your jar and let the egg sit for 24 hours. What do you observe happening when you add vinegar to the jar with the egg? Have students make predictions about what they think will happen to the egg and its shell. (Bubbles will appear on the shell, this is the acidic vinegar breaking down the calcuim and carbonate that make up the egg shell.)

  3. Day Two: Carefully remove the eggs from the jars with a spoon. The shell will be weakened as the shell has started to dissolve. Replace the exisiting vinegar with fresh vinegar and place the eggs back into their jars. Do you observe any new changes to the eggs? Allow the egg to sit for another 24 hours. Discard any eggs that have broken.

  4. Day Three: Repeat the same steps as Day Two. Be sure to record any changes you notice in your eggs.

  5. Day Four: By this day, the eggs have been submerged in vinegar for 72 hours. The egg shell should be completely dissolved and the membrane of the egg should have a rubbery texture. The egg should be clear and you will be able to see the yolk inside of the egg membrane. Make and record observations about the egg: How does it look? What does it feel like now? Take a measurement of the egg, has anything changed? Now try bouncing your eggs… who needs bouncy balls?





Discuss with students where eggs come from, some foods they enjoy that they may or may not know contain eggs.

Ask students what the egg is like once it is cracked open from its shell.

Let students know that they will be taking part in an experiment where they will be able to see inside the shell without cracking open the egg.



Have students describe the observations they made over the past several days. Discuss the nutritious benefits of eggs!

Hard-boiled eggs are a protein rich snack that you can prepare the night before for your students to enjoy on the last day of the activity. (Just make sure to keep the eggs refrigerated until you’re ready to eat them!)



How to Boil an Egg

You will need:

A small pot



Salt (optional)


1. In a small pot place eggs in pan and cover them with water.

2. Bring the water to a rapid boil.  Adding salt to the water will help bring the water to a boil faster.

3. Boil the eggs for 11-12 minutes.

4. Carefully remove the eggs from the hot water, run cold water over the eggs to cool them down.

5. Now for the fun part! Once your eggs have cooled crack the egg against the side of a bowl, or the counter top and give it a roll.  The shell should come off, and you have a delicious treat.


As always, never leave the stove un attended and make sure you have an adult help you!