Homeschooling: The science of cooking
You might not know it, but your kitchen is a science experiment waiting to happen. And I'm not talking about the tiny, unwelcome life forms growing in your fridge!
Homeschool science can be a whole lot of fun. If you have eggs, sugar, water, food coloring, vinegar, baking soda, milk and dishwasher soap handy in the kitchen, you are ready to experiment. From tornadoes and volcanoes to growing edible crystals and bouncing eggs — a fun science experiment is just moments away with the most basic of ingredients.
Rubber egg experiment
One of our favorite kitchen science experiments is the rubber egg experiment, which shows you how to turn a regular egg into a bouncing egg o' fun! My four sons love to get a bouncing egg and a slimy shell out of this experiment, and I love that it's not messy!
- Hard-boiled eggs
- A glass to hold the egg
- Place a hard-boiled egg in a glass and completely cover the egg with vinegar.
- Observe the egg and record what you see. (As the acetic acid in the vinegar attacks the calcium carbonate of the eggshell, you might see bubbles coming off of the egg.)
- Leave the egg in vinegar for 1 day.
- Remove and clean egg.
- Record your observations on this free egg experiment printable from Kid Zone.
How does the egg feel? What color is the egg? What happened to the shell? Try bouncing the egg on a hard surface. How high can you bounce your egg?
When calcium carbonate (the egg) and acetic acid (the vinegar) combine, a chemical reaction takes place and carbon dioxide (a gas) is released in the bubbles coming from the egg. It will take a day for all of the carbon in the egg to be released. When you take the egg out of the vinegar, it's soft because the calcium carbon floated out of the egg via those bubbles.
What are our bones made of? Calcium carbonate! This experiment can also be done with chicken bones — leave them in vinegar for a day and see what happens to them!
10 More kitchen science experiments
- Simple kitchen science with a balloon
- Rock candy science
- 7-Layer density experiment
- Colorful cabbage leaves
- Can you sink a marshmallow?
- Make your own green flubber
- What will freeze first?
- Elephant toothpaste
- Sparkly (glitter-filled) explosion
- Tie-dye milk experiment
For one last amazing kitchen science lesson, check out this Steve Spangler Science video — the kids will love it! Steve uses water and "jelly marbles" to show vanishing marbles in a simple experiment teaching identical index of refraction with the liquid.
Have you tried any of these science experiments or others? Do you have a favorite kitchen experiment?