Science fair projects with osmosis and an egg

Written by dana schafer
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Science fair projects with osmosis and an egg
Eggs can be useful for osmosis science experiments. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Using eggs for science osmosis experiments is inexpensive and can be conducted at home. In addition, there are several different experiments that can be performed. Make sure when students conduct these experiments using chicken eggs that safety precautions are used. Uncooked chicken eggs can carry salmonella. Therefore, make sure that those using eggs carefully wash their hands.

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Vinegar, Honey and Water with Egg Osmosis Properties

Illustrate the process of osmosis using an egg. For this experiment, an egg is placed gently into a beaker. The beaker is then filled with vinegar. Record initial results. Let the egg sit for three days and continue to record observations daily. In addition, make sure you feel the egg and note the texture each day. Since the vinegar is an acid, it removes the calcium shell from the egg and softens the egg. Once the shell is removed, rinse the egg and measure its circumference. Place the egg into a different beaker. This time fill the beaker with corn syrup. Record observations and let the egg sit again for a few days. After a few days, record the egg's texture and compare it with the texture of the egg out of the vinegar. In addition, measure the circumference again. Now place the egg into a beaker of water. Wait one day and record the texture of the egg and measure the circumference. The egg will have different measurements due to the concentration of salt in the surrounding solution. For instance, you should have seen the egg shrink in the honey and swell in the water beaker.

Solutions and Affects on Animal Cells

Have your student explore how different solutions effect the passing of substances through an animal cell using eggs. Different solution ideas can be sugar solution (corn syrup and water), a salt solution (table salt and water) and plain water. Add a hard-boiled egg to each solution and allow the egg to sit for a few days. After a few days, observe the size of the egg and measure the circumference. Compare both the appearance and circumference measurements of the eggs before and after the solutions. Have the student explain the property of osmosis.

Measure Weights of Eggs in Different Solutions

Another way to show the property of osmosis using an egg is to add eggs to different solutions and then weigh them on a balance or scale. Use different solutions such as honey, salt or sugar. Wait a day then take the eggs out and weigh them. Record all of the weights and create a line graph. You can do this using Excel. Place the weight on the X-axis and the type of solution on the Y-Axis. This should illustrate which egg was the heaviest and had the most movement into the egg membrane.

Food Coloring, Eggs and Osmosis

Explore the process of osmosis using food colouring. Take an egg and add it to a beaker or jar of water. Add drops of your favourite food colouring to the water. Let the egg sit for a couple days. Break the egg open and see the colour of the egg. The food colouring should have passed through the cell membrane of the egg, turning the inside that colour.

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