Walk­ing on eggs

Medicine Hat News - - YOUTH - Patty Rooks Science Smarts

If you are read­ing this col­umn, once you are fin­ished, I hope that you will join us for our 27th an­nual Fam­ily Science Olympics at Medicine Hat Col­lege to­day! It is go­ing to be a great day full of hands-on science ex­per­i­ments that you will not want to miss. This week, I thought I would share one of my favourite ac­tiv­i­ties from a past Fam­ily Science Olympics. Let’s get started!


two science helpers plas­tic tarp a few dozen eggs in the car­ton (de­pends on how good you are)


1. If you are do­ing this in­side, spread out the plas­tic tarp on a large, hard, flat sur­face.

2. Take two dozen eggs.

3. Check the eggs to en­sure there are not any bro­ken or cracked ones. I do not want to set you up for fail­ure be­fore you even be­gin.

4. En­sure all the eggs are sit­ting the same in the car­ton. By this I meant that one side of the egg is a bit pointier than the other. Make sure all of the “pointy” ends are fac­ing up or en­sure all of the more “round ends” are fac­ing up. It is im­por­tant they are all in the same di­rec­tion.

5. Place the open egg car­tons side by side in the mid­dle of the plas­tic tarp.

6. Re­move your shoes and socks.

7. Have one science helper stand be­side one dozen eggs and have the other helper stand by the other dozen eggs. You want them to be able to help you up onto the eggs.

8. Mak­ing your foot as flat as pos­si­ble, and hold­ing onto the science helpers on each side of you; care­fully step up onto the eggs with one foot. Do not be scared.

9. When your foot is prop­erly po­si­tioned, slowly shift all of your weight onto the egg-leg as you po­si­tion your other foot on top of the sec­ond car­ton of eggs. Step down.

10. What hap­pened?

What is go­ing on?

Please do not give up. It is pos­si­ble! You should be able to stand on the eggs with­out break­ing a sin­gle one! Eggs are truly amaz­ing. Their unique shape is the se­cret to this ex­per­i­ment. De­spite seem­ing so frag­ile (I know I break a few eggs ev­ery time I come home from the gro­cery store) they have tremen­dous strength. An egg is the strong­est at the top and the bot­tom due to their “arch shape.” If you ap­ply pres­sure equally to both ends of the egg, it will not break be­cause this shape helps dis­trib­ute the pres­sure evenly all over the shell rather than in just one place. This is also why chick­ens can sit on their eggs and hatch them with­out break­ing them.

The 27th an­nual Praxis Fam­ily Science Olympics will be held at Medicine Hat Col­lege to­day from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Please bring your en­tire fam­ily for this great free hand­son science day. There will be some­thing for every­one.

Patty Rooks is se­nior sci­en­tific con­sul­tant at PRAXIS, “Con­nect­ing Science To The Com­mu­nity.” Con­tact Praxis at praxis@prax­ismh.ca, www.prax­ismh.ca, Tweet or fol­low us @Prax­isMedHat, or friend us on Face­book.

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