This egg experiment looks at how something we think of as being brittle and weak can actually hold a heavy load under certain conditions. We’re going to investigate how strong an eggshell is by using half shells to make a bridge.

How strong is an eggshell?

eggshell bridge with books on top - bridge is made from half egg shells

You’ll need

  • at least 4 eggs ( we broke a few making the domes )
  • A pen
  • Scissors or a sharp knife
  • Heavy books

How to make an egg shell bridge

  • Tap the end of an egg gently on a hard surface to break it. Empty out the contents ( maybe use it to make scrambled egg? ) and rinse the inside of the shell. You will need 4 eggshells (you will probably need more than 4 eggs, but omlettes are lovely!).  Take a moment to think how brittle and easy to break the egg shell is.

Method 1

  • Draw a line around the egg as evenly as possible and using the line as a guide, carefully score the shell. Ask an adult to do this.  It is worth spending a lot of time over this step, as we have found it’s frustratingly difficult.  Ensure the scoring is continuous and completely encircles the egg.

Method 2 – the easiest

  • Very carefully break off pieces of shell up to around the centre point.  You need 4 half egg shells of the same height.  Scissors sometimes work too.
  • Place the 4 shells in a rectangle shape, and slowly place books on top. See you many books you can add before the egg shells crack.
Find out about the strength of dome shapes with this easy egg experiment for kids #scienceforkids #eggexperiment #scienceathome

Image taken from Snackable Science

How strong is an eggshell?

Some shapes are stronger than others.  Eggs which seem fragile are actually very strong in certain ways (try crushing an egg by squeezing the ends between your hands (maybe over a sink or outside!).

Eggshells naturally form a dome shape.  Domes are very good at spreading weight evenly in all directions so that no part of the dome has to support more weight than another part.  The downward force of the weight of the books is transferred evenly by the dome shape down to the work surface

Think more: What other shapes are strong? Where can you see these shapes in buildings or nature?

Starter: Have a look at bridges.

Try our investigation using paper to find out about strong shapes.

More Science for Kids

Make an unbreakable egg or one of our other easy egg experiments for kids, including making a naked egg, a bouncy egg and a Humpty Dumpty egg drop.

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Image of a bridge made from half egg shells to demonstrate how domes are a strong shape.

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Originally posted at Science Sparks