Do you love crystals? Are you looking for a creative way to color Easter eggs? How about a little kitchen science to kick off the spring weekend? This activity covers all three.
A crystal geode takes thousands of years to grow a crystal inside. That’s a lot of waiting, not to mention you have to find the geode and then crack it open. I’m not sure anyone has a spare thousand years on their hands. If so, I want to meet them.
If you are not that patient or want to work that hard for your crystals, an Egg Geode is eggs-actly the right geode for you. They require some patience and time, but not anywhere near what a real geode takes.
- Food coloring
- Alum powder (look in the spice section of your local grocers)
- Paper towels
1. Start with getting the yolk and goo out of the egg. Use a pushpin to carefully poke holes at either end of the egg.
2. Put your mouth on one hole and carefully blow out the egg insides through the other. You can blow it into a bowl to scramble later or throw it out.
3. Carefully cut the eggshell in half, down the egg’s length, with a pair of scissors. Pull off any little pieces around the edges.
4. Keeping caution and careful movements, wipe out the inside of the egg with a paper towel. Get it as clean and dry as possible.
5. Drop a small amount of glue into the egg and use a paintbrush to spread it around. Try to cover the entire interior surface, all the way up to the edges, of the egg with glue. Add more glue if needed.
6. Before the glue dries, cover it generously with alum powder.
7. Wait for it all to dry overnight. Here is where you can throw caution to the wind and pick up some patience.
8. Come back the next day and bring two cups of water to an almost boiling point. (That’s 473 mL to all scientists and everyone outside the U.S.). Pour the heated water into a beaker or glass. Add 30-40 drops of food coloring and 3/4 cup of alum powder and stir.
9. Let the solution cool for about 30 minutes.
10. Once the colored alum solution has cooled, place the egg, opening up, into the solution. Push the egg to the bottom of the beaker with a spoon and allow the egg to sit in the solution for 12-15 hours. That’s a long time, right? Good thing you practiced patience by waiting for the glue to dry earlier.
11. After the 12-15 hours have passed, check out your egg. It’s grown crystals! Carefully remove the egg and place it on a paper towel or drying rack to finish the geode-creation process.
For the science behind this activity and how it works, visit our Incredible Egg Geode experiment page.