Simple Science Experiments | Glow in The Dark Bouncing Egg Science Fair Project for 1st Grader
Updated: Sep 30, 2021
Finding the perfect science fair experiment for a 1st grader was quite the task! When Preston's school announced they were having a virtual science fair I was so excited because you know we all about science here at PBOinSTEM! Finally, a real world opportunity for
Preston to demonstrate his creativity, curiosity and awesome science skills.
To get some ideas of what type of project Preston wanted to execute for the science fair we started at the world's largest visual search engine, Pinterest! We explored hundreds of pins that looked interesting and started our own Science Fair Projects board to keep them all organized in one place. Preston narrowed down his potential projects to two (neither of which were my top picks, but it is his project so I remained fairly objective during the entire process):
- Glowing Bouncy Egg, or
- Milk and cookies dunk contest.
He decided to go with the Glowing Bouncy Egg, but we may come back to the milk and cookies dunk contest at a later times for fun.
Next, we gathered the materials for the project, all of which we had, except for the black light flash light that we ordered from Amazon. Luckily, the experiment takes three days so we did not need the black light right away and with 2-day shipping it arrived right on time. Before getting started Preston made his hypotheses regarding what he thought would happen. The two questions he asked were:
- Will the egg bounce?
- Will the egg glow?
The steps of the experiment were rather simple, first add the vinegar to the glass jars. Then pry open the highlighters and squeeze the ink from the spongy center part into the vinegar, one color per jar. This part get messy so be prepared. Next, add the eggs, one in each jar and set the jars aside for three days. From time to time Preston checked on the eggs to make observations of changes he noticed. On day three, and coincidently right after the black light arrived on our front porch, we decided the eggs were ready for testing.
We started by turning the lights off and exploring the "glow factor" while the eggs were still in the jars. Then, we removed the eggs from the jars, rinsed them off and Preston held each egg in his hand while Braxton and Olivia took turns shining the black light flash light on the eggs. We discovered the yellow highlighter was the only one of the three that gave off a radiant glow. After the glow test it was time to see if the eggs were bouncy. Similar to a hard boiled egg, the egg did bounce a little, but on the third bounce it broke, exposing the slimy, raw egg white and yolk. The kids got a kick out of this part! So technically, the egg did bounce, however, it was quite fragile.
Here is how to explain the science behind this cool experiment to your little people. The eggshell dissolves because the acetic acid in the vinegar breaks down the carbonate, releasing carbon dioxide gas and leaving soluble calcium acetate. You will notice this immediately as bubbles pop up all over the egg. The "glow factor" occurs because the vitamins are fluorescent. When the eggshell is dissolved in the vinegar the membrane of the egg is permeable so the glowing vinegar penetrates the egg, causing it to glow!
Please note, you do not have to be a scientist to do this cool science activity with your children. We obtained the information above by asking our Google Home, "Hey Google what is the science behind the glowing bouncy egg experiment?" Although I am an educator, I am not a science teacher or a scientist, so feel empowered to explore these concepts with your children and understand you do not need to be an expert!
One unexpected lesson that came about in the clean up of the experiment was that the residue from the highlighter ink splattered all over the kitchen counter top and cabinets, but it was only visible with the black light. After using a bleach solution to wipe everything down we scanned the area again with the black light and discovered the florescent residue was gone! A fun little CSI activity that was totally unexpected. Now that we own a black light we will be using it for other cool science experiments.
We hope you decide to try this experiment out at home. If you do, be sure to follow @PBOinSTEM on Instagram and Facebook and tag us to pictures you share.
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