Incubation and Embryology - University of Illinois

Stand Tall


Science, Language Arts


4 and up


Students will find ways to make an egg stand on its end.


  • one raw and one hard cooked egg for each group
  • a pinch of salt
  • a flat surface
  • paper towels


  1. Hold the cooked egg, wide end down, on a flat surface. Grip it by surrounding the egg with your hand, leaving the bottom unsupported. Gently push on it until the bottom cracks. It usually will stand on its own.

    you may do this to get the discussion started. Ask how to get an egg to stand on end and allow time for them to think of ways to do it. Crunch the egg and they will be amazed that you would do that. Challenge them to find a better way.
  2. Place a pinch of salt on a flat surface and place the wide end of the raw egg in the salt. The salt will support the egg. You can dampen the egg slightly if it does not stick to the salt.
  3. Clean up the salt so the surface is clean. Check the wide end of the egg for bumps. Try to balance the bumps.
  4. Place the egg on the surface wide end down. Hold the egg between the tips of both your thumbs and index fingers so that the four fingers form a support on all sides of the egg. Feel which finger the egg is leaning against. Tilt the egg away from that finger. Continue until the egg is standing on its own. Bumps make the difference.

Can you balance your egg on its narrow end?

List all of the ways that you tried and the results of each trial. Describe your feelings as you tried to balance the egg. Draw what it looks like and the method you found most successful.

List hints for others who try this activity?

Return to Lesson Plans