Have you ever seen an arch structure in a building, such as over a doorway or surrounding large windows? Arches have been used in structural engineering since ancient times. In this activity you will test the strength of a naturally occurring arch shape: the shell of an egg. So grab some eggs and put them to good engineering use in trying to answer the following question: Just how much mass can an eggshell can support?
Teisha Rowland, PhD, Science Buddies
This activity is not appropriate for use as a science fair project. Good science fair projects have a stronger focus on controlling variables, taking accurate measurements, and analyzing data. To find a science fair project that is just right for you, browse our library of over 1,150 Science Fair Project Ideas or use the Topic Selection Wizard to get a personalized project recommendation.
Dinner plate or other large, flat surface to place eggshells on for testing
Pencil or marker
Small triangular file. This is available from online suppliers such as
Alternatively, you may be able to find this at your local hardware or hobby store, most likely as part of a set of small files.
An alternative is to use a rotary motor tool. A basic set with a cut-off disk is available from
If you use a rotary tool, be sure to wear safety goggles, which are available from
You may also want to wear a dust mask, which is also available from
You can find this page online at: http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-activities/eggshells-strength
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