Eggstra-Strong

What's this Science Bite about?

How an egg could hold up a house!

You will need

Scissors, eggs and tape.

  • Eggs
  • 3 Bricks (or a heavy book)
  • Tape
  • Scissors

How to do this experiment

  1. Break the eggs carefully at the narrow end – make a hole just big enough to let out the white and yolk.
    An egg with a hole and a beaker containing eggy contents

  2. Stick the tape all the way around the widest part of the egg.
    An egg with tape around its width

  3. Draw a line around the egg, following the tape. Carefully use the scissors to score along this line. This will help you to break the shell away cleanly. You might need an adult to help! Break off pieces of the egg shell from the broken part up to the line.  Carefully snip around the edge, making it neat and straight.  If there are any cracks in the egg you’ll have to start another! Repeat this for 3 more eggs… 
    Egg shells that have been cut in half.

  4. Set out the 4 eggs as if they were in the corners of a rectangle.
    4 eggs set out in a square

  5. And now to see how strong an egg really is…place a heavy book or even a brick on top of the eggs!
    A book on top of the egg shells

  6. How much weight can they take?!
    A 2 litre bottle of water sitting on top of a book on some egg shells.

Find out more.

The eggs shells are strong due to their oval shape. The rounded dome shape means the forces are distributed evenly across the whole of the shell; this allows them to take much more weight than you might think! The strength of the eggs means that hens can sit on them without breaking!

Eggs do not stand up to uneven forces very well which is why we can crack them on the side of a bowl.

Curriculum Links

Forces

SCN 1-07a

Earth's Materials

SCN 3-17a

TripAdvisor

Glasgow Science Centre