Summer of Mess: Egg Geodes

This is a pretty simple project that I got from Tinkerlab. It shows how salt and other materials form crystals once water has evaporated. It’s also a great way to teach observation (you have to have the eggs sit for several days) and potentially journaling or recording the progress of the experiment. 

All you do is clean out some egg shells, mix water with salt and food coloring, and then pour into the egg shells. They sit for several days as the water evaporates out and the salt forms crystals inside the shells. We also mixed water with Borax.

Cam did all the mixing and I helped her pour just so it didn’t end up all over the place. I also placed a large baking sheet under the materials to catch spills more easily. 

24 hours

24 hours

Five days

Five days

 If you try this…

…I think you could add some glitter to the water mixture. We only added food coloring, but glitter, especially fine glitter might make this a wee bit more sparkly. 

…use Tinkerlab’s suggestion and try other mixtures. Next time I would use baking soda, another type of salt (we only had Kosher on hand), and maybe gelatin. This shows what materials form crystals and which don’t. The gelatin would show something else entirely!

…I would premake the mixtures and have Cam add just the food coloring. The recipe calls for hot water which I microwaved to achieve, but heating the water on the stove and stirring in the salt (and Borax) would have gotten more of the salt into the water and would probably have a more impressive effect once the water evaporates. The more I watch the geodes form, the more important I think this is. I think we did not get enough of the Borax and salt incorporated into our solutions to make better geodes.

…it is the perfect summer activity. You have to wait for the water to evaporate and the warmer it is the fast this will happen. It might be neat with older kids to try the experiment at the height of summer and during the winter and compare how long it takes for the evaporation to occur. 

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