An Egg-ceptionally Egg-celent Egg-periment: Testing the Influence of Morphological Design

By Frank Fish, West Chester University

Type of Resource Laboratory activity
Topic Materials/biomaterials
Taxa Vertebrate
Organizational Level Organismal
Estimated time to do activity 2-3 hours 
Background required/level biology freshman-sophomore level 
Role of activity in your course Laboratory exercise to demonstrate function of shape and biological materials. 
What students might learn from this course or activity Students learn about the functional differences of design, how biology and engineering are linked, and materials testing. Students learn skills in data collection and analysis, and physical testing. 
Special tools, equipment or software needed The egg-breaking device can be built cheaply and the only other cost is for the eggs (<$50) 
Safety precautions, possible permissions necessary Students should watch out for stray bits od egg shell. 
Miscellaneous advice - pitfalls to avoid Students sometimes are startled when the egg finally breaks and added more sand. The larger the sample size the better. 
Evaluation Students have preformed this exercise in the laboratory with success. They have turned in written reports of the experiment. 
Description The laboratory examines the force necessary to break an egg. The importance of position on the egg in relation to breaking strength is tested to determine if the higher domed ends require different amounts of force to break compared to the lower domed sides of the egg. 
Associated Files