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The Raw-Boiled Egg: Determining if an Egg is Raw or Boiled


How can six steps be used to determine if an egg is raw or boiled?

How can the Newton’s law of inertia be used to determine if an egg is raw or boiled?

Introduction (Science Concept)

Newton’s law of motion called “inertia” states that “An object at rest will remain at rest and an object in motion will continues in motion at the same speed and in the same direction unless an unbalanced force is acted upon it. (3, 4, 5) If you spin a 12 fl oz. empty capped bottle, you would notice that it spends freely. If you add just two ounces of water, recap the bottle and spin it, you will find that it spins differently. When you turn the bottle to cause it to spin this rotating or turning force is called a torque (1, 2, 6).  The water inside the bottle changes the center of gravity and the water affects the inertia of the bottle when you try to stop the spinning. If you add three different fluids, each different fluid has a different inertia and they rotate at different speeds and may cause some wobbling.

Make two hypotheses to determine if an egg is raw or hard boiled. Carry out all six steps to make your final conclusions for the investigation.

Spinning the egg

Hypothesis I: 

If the boiled egg’s content moves with the shell and the raw egg’s content lags behind, then

  1. touching the shell of the raw egg will stop it .

b. touching the shell of the boiled egg will slow it down.

Diffusion of materials across the egg shell

Hypothesis II: 

If an egg is placed in warm water, then diffusion

  1. across the shell of the raw egg will bubble form.

  1. across the shell of the hardboiled egg will

it stay normal


Two eggs labeled 1 and 2 plastic table cloth pencil

Bowl spoon

Warm Water paper towels


Carry out the six steps to determine if the eggs labeled one and two are raw or hard boiled.

  1. Spinning the Egg

Spin egg #1 with your fingers and thumb. Stop its rotation with a fingertip, by placing your finger directly down on the rotating egg. Lift your finger up, immediately. Record if the egg continued to spin. Repeat the process for egg #2

Answer questions # 1 and # 2

  1. Measuring the speed of the egg (Roles – spinner, timer, recorder)

Mark a dot on the pointed end of the egg to make it more visible. Place egg #1 on the table with a point of reference (pencil horizontal to mark on the egg) to determine how many times the marked end of the egg passes the point of reference in 30 seconds. Have one member of the group count how many times the marked end of the egg passes the point of reference on the paper in 30 seconds. Another member of the group will serve as time keeper. Repeat three times and record the average. (How do you spin the egg? Place your thumb on one end and your middle finger on the other. Spin the egg using a 'clicking' movement by pushing your thumb forward while drawing the middle finger back.) Repeat the process for egg #2. Answer questions # 3 and # 4

  1. Shaking the egg

Shake egg # 1 and record what you observe about the inside motion of the egg, and then shake egg # 2 and record what you observe. Answer questions # 5 and # 6

  1. Light testing

Place the egg near a desk lamp or shine a flash light through the egg. Record whether the light shines through. Answer questions # 7 and #8.

  1. Determining diffusion/osmosis

Weight both eggs individually and record. Place each egg in individual bowls of very warm tap water for 3 minutes.  Record what you see happening on the surface of the egg shells. Answer questions # 9 and # 10

  1. Drying the Egg

Take the egg out of the very water with a spoon. Hold the spoon away from the pot and record how many seconds the wet egg takes to dry. Answer questions # 11

Next after recording drying time, completely dry each egg with a paper towel, weigh and record. Determine the percent change in mass for each egg to answer question for step 5.


Data Table: The Raw-Boiled Egg

Type test


Result Raw or boiled


Egg 1 No spin

Egg 1 boiled

Egg 2 spin, keeps spinning

Egg 2 raw



Egg 1 Spin 1 2 Spin 2_1_ Spin 3 1_ Average__1.3__

Egg 1 boiled

Egg 2 Spin 1__5_ Spin 2__6_ Spin 3 _8_ Average 6.3__

Egg 2 raw


Egg 1 Feels like something is in it.

Egg 1 raw

Egg 2 Feels like nothing is in it, no movement

Egg 2 boiled

Light testing

Egg 1 small glow

Egg 1 raw

Egg 2 nothing

Egg 2 boiled


Egg 1 Initial weight _47_ and Observation

Egg 1


No bubbles on the surface of shell

Egg 2 Initial Weight _52_ and Observation


Egg 2


% change in mass for egg # 1 ____0%_________

% change in mass for egg # 2_____0%__________


Egg 1 Weight #1

3 minutes

Egg 1


Egg 2

4 minutes

Egg 2


Graph the percent change in mass

(Right click on graph and “edit” by adding your data for each ledger categories)

Analyzing Data


  1. How did egg #1 rotate or turn as compared to the egg # 2?



  1. What qualities of each egg played a role in the way it spun? Explain your reasoning based on the introduction to the investigation



Measuring Speed

  1. Which egg spun faster?______________________________________________________________

  1. What contributed to one egg spinning faster than the other?


Shaking the egg

  1. What did you hear in each egg?



  1. How did each egg feel while shaking



Light Testing

  1. Which egg appeared solid?_______________________________________________________

  1. Which egg appeared opaque? ____________________________________________________


  1. Which egg diffused bubbles across its’ shell? _______________________________________

  1. Which egg had a greater percent change in mass? Explain your reasoning?___________________


  1. Which egg dried faster? _____________________________________________________________


Conclusion What is your decision about you initial question based on your data? Tell whether or not your data supported your hypothesis)





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