The topics that we have been focusing on, and that relates to this activity, are the concepts of diffusion and osmosis. This is basically the movement of molecules through cells from high to low concentration Both are passive processes, and osmosis is different from diffusion because it focuses solely on the movement of water. This plays into the activity, “Eggs in Vinegar and Syrup”, because we observed directly the process of osmosis with it. The eggs, once the shells were dissolved with vinegar, were both placed into two containers of water and syrup. The ones in water retained their puffy, water filled appearance, while the ones in syrup looked deflated and shriveled thanks to the water leaving the high concentration in the egg and moving to the lower concentration in the syrup.
This is a great activity to show students just how diffusion and osmosis work. It might be a timely experiment that requires a few days, but it is an excellent way to give a physical demonstration of a concept that can often be very difficult for younger students to grasps. They are able to really see how the eggs change and how water and other molecules will move between semi-permeable membranes. It also offers a hands-on approach as well in which students can safely touch and explore the eggs once their shells have been dissolved. It is a fun experiment that offers multitudes of learning styles to cater to student needs and enforce the concepts of matter, diffusion, and osmosis.