Set the table for learning! This fun activity from Incredible Edible Science provides a hands-on way to encourage children’s investigative nature and learn about the science process skill of inferring.
Making inferences is a central part of a scientist’s work. Being able to observe a situation — or experiment — and then explain or describe why something happened the way it did is an important skill. Inferring is often described as explaining or interpreting an observation or sets of observations that have taken place in the past. They may include drawing conclusions, generalizing, analyzing, theorizing, evaluating, interpreting, and asking, “Why did that happen” type questions. Children should learn to realize that the more observations they take into account, the more valid their inferences will be.
Words You Can Use
Rubber, slick, smooth, soft, vinegar
What You Need
One raw egg (in its shell)
Bottle of vinegar
What You Do
- Gather the children together around a table.
- Place the unopened bottle of vinegar, the egg, and the jar on the table.
- Discuss with the children that some food items have a strong smell, and the vinegar you will use today will have a very strong odor, or smell.
- Have the children look at the raw egg and share their observations. They may pass it around if you feel this can be done without it being dropped. Caution them about how fragile it is and model for them how to pass it by cupping your hands and letting a child put the egg into your cupped hands.
- Gently place the raw egg in a jar and cover it with vinegar.
- Put the lid on the jar and set it aside for about one or two days.
- Have the children observe the egg each day. Discuss the children’s observations and have them draw pictures of what they see.
- After about two days, the eggshell should be invisible. Have the children discuss their observations and draw pictures.
- Then, remove the egg, rinse it off, and hold it up to the light.
- Let the children feel the egg.
- Have the children infer what happened to the eggshell.
- Explain that vinegar is an acid and that dissolved some of the minerals from the eggshell, making the eggshell soft.
- Have the children discuss the differences between a plain raw egg and an egg that has been soaking in vinegar for three days.
Questions You Can Ask
What happened to the eggshell?
How does the egg feel after it has soaked in vinegar for a few days?
How does it feel now compared to the way it felt before it soaked in the vinegar?
Rubber Eggs is an activity from Incredible Edible Science: Recipes for Developing Science and Literacy Skills. The book provides more than 160 science-based activities that inspire children’s curiosity and learning; an overview of brain development; tips on getting organized; cooking, safety, and health guidelines; and information on the six basic science process skills of observing, classifying, communicating, measuring, inferring, and predicting.
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