This is Science! ChicagoParent.com's new video series in which we do a science experiment or demonstration that you can do at home. This month, we start with the Museum of Science and Industry, where we make eggs drop into a glass of water.
This experiment is primarily testing Newton's First Law of Motion, which is, "An object in motion tends to stay in motion, while an object at rest tends to stay at rest." (OK, since there was a force used to move the eggs, we were testing out the Second Law of Motion a bit, too.)See more science experiment videos
The tools for this experiment can be found in the home, but there is a bit of pre-planning to do.
Note that we used four of everything for the video. But you can also do it with one of each. Or perhaps two or three or six. Experiment and find out.
Paper towel or toilet paper holders. (We have been assured the height of the tubes does not affect the inertia.)
Cups with a fairly wide mouth
A smooth piece of cardboard.
Eggs. They can be raw or boiled. And, as we talked about in the video, you can experiment with putting different weights of things in plastic eggs.
A long whisk, old fashioned straw broom. The shorter, nylon brooms don't generate enough resistance to knock the eggs out cleanly. You can think of the broom bristles as a spring. The stiffer the straw, the more force you're generating. Again, experiment and see.
A clean table top. We did this experiment on a counter height table. You might need to adjust how far you pull the broom back for a lower table.
A sense of adventure.
Pour some water in your cups; usually about half full.
Put the cardboard over the cup, with a little bit of it sticking out beyond the edge of the table.
Line up your tubes so they are on the cardboard, but directly over each cup.
Put the eggs in the tops of the tubes.
The broom handle should be parallel to the edge of the cardboard upon impact. So line up the handle (gently) before you pull the broom back.
Put your foot firmly on the bristles of the broom, then cock the handle back.
Let go and watch the eggs drop.