Tri River Area CSU Extension - To provide information, education and to encourage the application of research-based knowledge to the communities of Delta, Mesa, Montrose, and Ouray Counties.

April 9th – Playing with Eggs!

How’s everyone doing? Personally, I’m on week 3 of self quarantine and I’ve run out of things to work on, clean, and cook…! However, my spirits are up and hopes are high that this too will pass.

Well since this month is traditionally filled with eggs, that’s where I’ve been spending a lot of time focusing. I have been working on updating my embryology lesson plans for at home chick hatching and I have been experimenting with shell-less eggs.

Wait Whaaaaaaaaaat?!?!?!?!

Yes, you read that right – Shell-Less Eggs!

A Shell-Less Egg

This month my teammates and I are working on recording online videos with short experiments you can do at home (while in or out of quarantine!). While the video’s are still being edited, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to show some photo’s from my latest experiment! Sorry no spoilers…you will have to wait for the movie for full instructions!

Eggs in Solution – Bubbles are a Chemical Reaction Occurring!

To make shell-less eggs, you soak them in a super secret solution for about a week. What’s happening is an Acid Base Reaction (As seen in the above photo!)

  • pH Scale: The measurement of how acidic or basic a substance is based on a numerical range of 0 to 14 with 7 being neutral.
  • Acid: A sour or bitter tasting, corrosive substance that has a pH under 7. Examples are orange juice, lemon, and vinegar.
  • Base: A substance that has a pH above 7. Examples are bleach, baking soda, and ammonia.
  • Neutral: Meaning neither an acid or a base. Example pure water.
An Example of the pH Scale

In the photo above, the Super Secret Acid is breaking down the shell of the egg (Calcium Carbonate) into other parts. This eliminates the egg’s shell and leaves us with the egg’s membrane and inner parts.

What do you do with a shell-less egg?

I’m glad you asked…

What I Did with My Shell-less Eggs!

I experimented with Osmosis!

  • Osmosis: The movement of water (H2O) through a membrane from high H2O concentration to lower H2O concentration until equilibrium is reached.
  • Equilibrium: Equal parts on both sides.

I chose different solutions with differing concentrations of water and made guesses about which way the water would travel (in or out of the egg) AND what would happen to the egg. There were some….surprising results!


Oops…..almost gave it away. Sorry folks you will just have to wait for the video to be released! Check our STEM/k12 Programs facebook page for the release! We will also publish the full lesson plan for shell-less eggs so you can follow it at home.

In the meantime, please reach out for more stem activities to complete at home.

Teachers will also be glad to know that our embryology materials are up to date and we will be taking reservations to hatch chicks in fall 2020, pending quarantine…

Thanks for STEMin!

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