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A hands-on "eggs-periment" teaches about density. Plus 10 more experiments!
density, Great Salt Lake, Utah, egg, Easter, experiment, hands-on, inquiry, hypothesis
Arrange students into small groups. Provide each group with a glass, an egg (fresh, raw), a container of salt, and a spoon or stick for stirring. Fill each glass about half full of water. Ask students to put the egg in the glass of water and record their observations. What happens to the egg?
Then invite students to remove the egg from the water and stir in a measure of salt. Have students record the results. Stir in another measure of salt; record the results. Students might do this several times, recording their observations after each addition of salt.
Ask students to record their best hypothesis about what happened, and have them share their ideas.
The egg is denser than the water. That is why, initially, the egg sank. As salt was added to the water, the water's density increased. Gradually, the water became denser than the egg and the egg floated.
Ask students if they can think of another way to prove that the density of the water increased as salt was added. See if any student suggests comparing the weight of two glasses -- one half full of water and the other with the exact same amount of water with several tablespoons of salt added. A sensitive scale will show that the salt water weighs more (is more dense) than the water without salt.
At that point, have students read, or share with students, an encyclopedia article about Great Salt Lake in Utah. Floating in Great Salt Lake is much easier than in other lakes because the lake is so dense with salt.
Extending the Lesson
At that time, you might introduce students to additional experiments to help demonstrate why people and things float more readily in Great Salt Lake than in most other bodies of water:
More "Eggs-perimenting" Fun
The following experiments use eggs to teach other scientific concepts. (Appropriate grades for each experiment are indicated in parentheses.)
Students will write a two-sentence summary of what they learned from the density experiment.
Lesson Plan Source
Click for more egg-themed lessons in this week's Lesson Planning article, Five "Eggs-traordinary" Lesson Plans: Just Add the Eggs!
Don't miss more lessons in a previously published article, Why All the EGGS-citement About EGGS?.