AMASE: Mara and Jo's Egg-cellent Adventure!

Posted on Wednesday, February 9th, 2022


Girl (Mara) reading a cookbook sitting at an insland the kitchen.
- [Mara]: Oh! I can make scrambled eggs! 
Looks up from cookbook.
- [Mara]: So what's up with eggs?
Woman (Jo) enters the frame.
-[Jo] - What do you mean?
- [Mara]: Like they're so weirdly strong and weak at the same time... like they have some superpower where they know when they need to be weak and when they need to be strong! Like the momma hen can sit on it,
Still image of a hen sitting on eggs enters the centre of the screen and expands to fill the screen.
- [Mara]: and they don't break
Video cuts back to Mara and Jo sitting at the island in the kitchen.
- [Mara]: and then when the chick needs to come out, chicks aren't very strong when they're still in the egg, they can just peck their way out! 
- [Jo]: That's true. That's an excellent question Mara so today on Ask Me Anything: Science Edition let's talk about the incredible structure of the egg.
Video transitions to Guelph Physics logo, the fades back to Jo and Mara in the kitchen. Jo is holding an egg.
- [Mara]: But it's an egg, how can it be a structure?
- [Jo]: Well it's a shape so what do you think of when you see this shape... kind of the top of it... what do you think?
- [Mara]: Like an arch or a dome or um whatchamacallit... that uh building the building in um... England. 
- [Jo]: Oh.
Still image of London, UK, City hall appears in centre screen over the video of Jo and Mara and then disappears.
- [Jo]: Oh the city hall in London down by the Thames. Right so a dome or an arch, yeah. So in building structures we've been using arches and domes for thousands of years.
- [Mara]: Right like ancient rome and uh...
- [Jo]: Yeah I would think about the far north where they build igloos for shelter,
Still image of an igloo expands from the centre of the screen over the video of Jo and Mara and then disappears.
- [Jo]: right, that is an excellent way of building an enclosed space without having trees to be able to provide beams and supports for an internal structure.
Still image of inside Pantheon dome, Rome, appears over the video of Jo and Mara, and then disappears.
- [Jo]: A dome is a great way to enclose a space without an internal support because when you push down on the top of the dome it actually, the force is pushing down but it gets spread all around the surface so I can squeeze this really hard
Jo demonstrates by squeezing the egg.
- [Jo]: end to end and I actually can't break it... you wanna try? Squeeze it as hard as you can end to end.
Jo gives the egg to Mara to try squeezing. Mara squeezes between two hands end to end.
- [Jo]: It's actually really strong.
Okay, because as Mara's pushing down on the top that force is actually getting spread all around the sides and it's a very strong structure when you press on it end to end. So mama hen can sit on her eggs and not break them, but baby wants to crack out so he uses his pointy little beak to apply a force a tiny little point and... this might get messy...
Mara passes Jo a bowl to hold. 
- [Jo]: what happens, just apply a little force on the side...
Mara uses a tool to crack the side of the egg.
- [Jo]: and it cracks right? 
- [Mara]: Yep there's a hole in there.
- [Jo]: A couple of little cracks
Mara holds the egg up close to the camera to show the cracks.
- [Jo]: and Mara hasn't really had to press very hard to get the structure to break.
- [Mara]: And then they do it a couple more times and then it breaks!
Mara pours the cracked egg into the bowl
- [Jo]: Voila! Absolutely! So it's all about the shape. Now you can try that at home take an egg, it's really hard end to end and you can't break it. I bet you can actually stand on an egg and not break it. 
Mara starts shaking her head.
- [Mara]: No no no no no no no no no no.
Jo starts nodding her head.
- [Jo]: Yeah yeah! You wanna bet?
- [Mara]: No because you're all sciencey... no. But like I weigh 80 pounds! Like maybe a mama hen, but no. 
- [Jo]: So our friends at the Guelph Physics Department machine shop have built a special structure for us to hold the egg upright in this position and we can put weight on it and see how much it can support before it breaks. I think it can support a whole Mara and not break! 
Mara shakes her head.
- [Jo]: Let's do it!
- [Mara]: *sigh*
*music starts*
Video shifts to kitchen floor where a garbage bag has been spread out, with the special egg holding structure on it. Jo helps Mara to stand on the structure (and egg).
- [Jo]: Ok, balance!  
Mara is balancing on the structure and video pans up to show her whole body balancing on the egg structure.
- [Mara]: I'm standing on an egg! I'm standing on an egg!
- [Jo]: Woo!
Mara steps off of the structure.
- [Jo]: Wanna try again?
- [Mara]: No now I gotta prove it's really an egg.
Mara walks out of the video frame.
- [Jo]: Ok get a cup.
Jo bends down to take the egg out of the holding structure. Mara returns with a measuring cup. Jo cracks the egg on the side of the cup and pours the egg into the cup.
- [Mara]: Ok guys, real egg. See?
-[Jo]: *laughs*
Mara holds the measuring cup up to the camera and swirls it around.
- [Mara]: Not a rubber egg!
Video cuts back to Mara and Jo sitting at the kitchen island.
- [Mara]: Cool so when a mama hen sits on her eggs the weight gets spread out over the entire surface so it doesn't break.
Jo holds up an egg.
-[Jo]: Absolutely and then when the baby needs to pop out it taps away at a tiny little spot on the side and breaks the shell and can break out of the egg.
- [Mara]: Cool. 
-[Jo]: You can try an experiment at home to explore how much weight an egg can hold. 
- [Mara]: All you need is a piece of cardboard,
Mara passes Jo a square of cardboard.
- [Mara]: four bottle caps...
Mara holds 4 bottle caps to the camera.
Jo holds up four eggs.
-[Jo]: ...and four eggs. 
- [Mara]: So you're gonna put the eggs with the pointy side down into the bottle cap. 
Jo and Mara both demonstrate putting the egg pointy side down into the bottle caps.
-[Jo]: There we go there's another one... and one more so that's four okay. 
- [Mara]: And you spread them out.
Jo takes the cardboard.
Inset video appears in lower right of the screen showing up close the four eggs with the cardboard balanced on top. 
-[Jo]: Make a little rectangle, and then we'll put our cardboard down on top and then the experiment is let's see how many books we can stack down on top of those four eggs!
Mara shows a big book.
- [Mara]: Got this heavy physics textbook!
-[Jo]: Alright lay it down gently... One book.
Jo nods.
Mara shows a second book.
-[Jo]: TWO! and you can keep going and see how many you can get make sure you share your experiments with us on Instagram and Facebook.
- [Mara]: And when you do the experiment you might want to put a plastic bag or something down so that you do not get egg everywhere. 
-[Jo]: Yeah at some point it's gonna get messy. Thanks for joining us today for Ask Me Anything: Science Edition.
- [Mara]: Hope you have an egg-cellent day! 
-[Jo]: Now get cracking!


Ask Me Anything: SCIENCE EDITION returns to discuss strong structures!
Investigate the strength locked within the shape of an eggshell!

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