“Great discoveries and improvements invariably involve the cooperation of many minds. I may be given credit for having blazed the trail, but when I look at the subsequent developments I feel the credit is due to others rather than to myself.” Alexander Graham Bell
Guest Blog Post by Wayne Fisher, Elementary Science Specialist
There is an urban myth that the only day you can balance an egg
on its end is during the spring equinox, which happened to be March 20th at 12:57 pm. Is that true and how can we know? Here’s how:
Use the CL-EV-R model
to engage your students in an activity where they try to balance a egg on its end. CL-EV-R stands for Claims, Evidence, and Reasons and is a wonderful teaching and learning strategy to support argumentation in the Common Core as well as learning in science.
The short version of CL-EV-R is for students to make a Claim, gather EVidence to support the claim, and explain their Reasoning for why the evidence supports or does not support the claim.
For this activity, I suggest using a dozen eggs, one egg per group of 2-3 students. Explain to the students that you have heard that it is possible to balance an egg on its end only on certain days such as the Spring Equinox. Ask them to pair-share what they think about that statement (or claim). Ask them to talk about evidence they can gather to prove or disprove the claim. The response you are looking for is “let’s just try it today!”
Hand out one egg per team of students, or even one egg per student. Have paper towels handy for that one egg that will roll off the table or desk and needs to be cleaned up! Use the opportunity to talk about the effects of gravity! Allow students to try to balance their eggs. Note – for every dozen eggs, about 25% will balance! Be prepared for the “ah-ah!” experiences students will have when several of them do balance their eggs! Record student results in a t-chart. You may want to ask students to predict how many eggs out of a dozen will balance and how many will not.
Look at the class data. How many eggs were students able to balance? How does that compare to the student predictions? Why do some eggs balance and others do not? (There is a reason that you can read about on-line). What does the evidence tell us about the claim that you can only balance eggs on the Spring Equinox?
Does it make a difference if the eggs are raw or hard-cooked?
Would we get similar results for duck, quail, or other types of eggs? How about an ostrich egg?
Is it possible to balance an egg on its pointy end? (I have been able to do that only once in the last 1472 eggs I have tested!)
If you freeze the egg would it be easier or harder to balance?
Challenge students to do the same activity with their parents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, etc! Take a picture and share! Include this activity as part of your school’s STEM Night of Science and Math Night. Gather other questions from the students.
Take a picture of your students doing this activity and share on your school’s website.
In this lesson students are using all the 21st century skills. To integrate technology seamlessly into the lesson, you can have the students blog about the experience, create a presentation demonstrating their results such as using EduGlogster
or creating a poll (poll everywhere
or Google Forms
) to gather the results from the class.