Omelets, scrambles, and quiche… OH MY! There are so many amazing ways to prepare eggs for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Not only are they a tasty treat, they are jam-packed with educational opportunities. The egg laying process, the properties of the shell and contents, and the art of preparing egg dishes can all lead to a wide variety of lessons for students and adults!
The Egg Laying Process
Recently, Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom was able to see firsthand what an egg goes through on its journey from the hen to us, the consumer. We were able to see the hen houses, the long stretches of conveyor belts moving the eggs, the egg washing system, the workers checking the quality of eggs, and the machines that pack the eggs.
Did you know that over 720,000,000 eggs are produced every year just here in Oregon?! Crazy! Check out the full video to learn more about the egg production process featuring Oregon farmers:
STEM and the Egg
At the Urban Farm at College Hill High School in Corvallis, Lead Teacher Cherie Taylor saw that students loved caring for chickens, so she encouraged students in the Urban Farm Class to build coops, raise a small flock of hens, and gather their eggs. Oregon AITC had the opportunity to visit their class and lead some science activities using the eggs from their farm.
The first challenge: try to break an egg! Seems easy? Think again! We asked the students to try to break the egg by pressing down on each end of the egg with equal force. The properties of the arch of the eggshell make it IMPOSSIBLE to break the egg. This is what allows hens can sit on their eggs without breaking them. Don’t believe us? Give it a try!
To further this phenomenon, we then took just the eggshells (full arch still intact) and piled books on top. We were all surprised at how much weight these thin eggshells could hold! As a group, we identified what other structures in the world have similar arch designs. Bridges, buildings, and igloos were just a few ideas we came up with.
In our next activity, we took hard-boiled eggs and raw eggs and spun them in a circle on a table. We asked students to come up with a hypothesis on which eggs would spin better and why. After discovering that the hard-boiled eggs spun faster and more controlled, we discussed inertia, solids versus liquids, momentum, and how that all played a role with the two types of eggs and their ability to spin.
It was an egg-cellent day with the College Hill students exploring the wonder of eggs. Learn more about the College Hill farm HERE. You can also find more egg-related resources and lessons on our website: HERE!
Cooking with Eggs
Of course we can’t forget about how delicious eggs are! Eggs are a source of high protein at a low cost. Last school year, Oregon AITC awarded mini-grants to classrooms and teachers who implemented egg education into their culinary classes. We loved seeing photos and hearing stories about what students were able to cook up. Hungry just thinking about eggs? Try out this awesome recipe that Molly Wolfe, Eggcellent Culinary Skills grant recipient from North Albany Middle School, taught to her class.
Read this fantastic article to learn more about what Molly’s class did! Article Link
Learn more about eggs on our NEW commodity page by clicking HERE.