This egg experiment looks at how something we think of as being brittle and weak can actually hold a heavy load under certain conditions. We’re going to investigate how strong an eggshell is by using half shells to make a bridge.
How strong is an eggshell?
- at least 4 eggs ( we broke a few making the domes )
- A pen
- Scissors or a sharp knife
- Heavy books
How to make an egg shell bridge
- Tap the end of an egg gently on a hard surface to break it. Empty out the contents ( maybe use it to make scrambled egg? ) and rinse the inside of the shell. You’ll need 4 eggshells (so probably more than 4 eggs as the domes can be tricky to make). Take a moment to think how brittle and easy to break the egg shell is.
- Draw a line around the egg as evenly as possible and using the line as a guide, carefully score the shell. Ask an adult to do this. It is worth spending a lot of time over this step, as we have found it’s frustratingly difficult. Ensure the scoring is continuous and completely encircles the egg.
Method 2 – the easiest
- Very carefully break off pieces of shell up to around the centre point. You need 4 half egg shells of the same height. Scissors sometimes work too.
- Place the 4 shells in a rectangle shape, and slowly place books on top. See you many books you can add before the egg shells crack.
Image taken from Snackable Science
How strong is an eggshell?
Some shapes are stronger than others. Eggs which seem fragile are actually very strong in certain ways (try crushing an egg by squeezing the ends between your hands (maybe over a sink or outside!).
Egg shells naturally form a dome shape. Domes are very good at spreading weight evenly in all directions so that no part of the dome has to support more weight than another part. The downward force of the weight of the books is transferred evenly by the dome shape down to the hard surface
Think more: What other shapes are strong? Where can you see these shapes in buildings or nature?
Starter: Have a look at bridges.
Try our investigation using paper to find out about strong shapes.
More Science for Kids
Make an unbreakable egg or one of our other easy egg experiments for kids, including making a naked egg, a bouncy egg and a Humpty Dumpty egg drop.
Last Updated on March 2, 2022 by Emma Vanstone
Phyllis at All Things Beautiful
I like this experiment a lot. I have seen several about an egg’s strength, but I have never seen this one.
We just saw this experiment yesterday in a book and the boys said they wanted to try it. Glad to see it worked out for you! (I found this by following the Science Sunday link up at Adventures in Mommydom.)
What a great experiment! I remember in History class when they were trying to build St. Peter’s Basillica, they had many people coming in claiming amazing abilities to build, until the person who was hired came in, crushed an egg on the table and left the dome, and said “I can build this.” They hired him.
cathy at nurturestore
What an eggsellent eggsperiment (couldn’t resist!)
Thanks for joining in with the Play Academy 🙂
wow,I love this,great experiment for lil ones!
Thank you. x
wow that does work and i could say egg shells are pretty powerful 🙂 :O
Sue @ Onetimethrough
I love how you explained how to get the “domes” to work – as painstaking as it was. I tried this same experiment a few months ago with my little guy and had a lot of difficulty getting it to work – thanks for sharing!