Cool Science Experiments
Funny Bones

These cool science experiments create "funny bones" that can bend. Bones have two main substances calcium carbonate and collagen. Calcium carbonate, (calcite) gives our bones strength. Collagen is a light and flexible material. These two materials combine to give us and other land animals strong bones that are lightweight.

When bones are placed in an acid a chemical reaction occurs. Tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide form as the acid reacts with the calcium carbonate. The collagen in bones is left behind as the calcium carbonate dissolves. In this experiment you will be testing a variety of chicken bones to see how they react to being left in a bowl of vinegar for up to 10 days.

Cool Science Experiments, Funny Bones, Photo Myrna Martin

Materials

  • Chicken bones
  • Bowl or large jar
  • Vinegar
  • Paper and pencil
  • Tape measure

Directions

  1. After having a chicken dinner or making chicken soup save the bones for this experiment.
  2. Clean the bones by washing them off with a scrubber.
  3. This will get the rest of the meat that might be clinging to the bones off before you start the experiment.
  4. After the bones are clean test each of the bones to see if they will bend.
  5. Write down on a piece of paper a description of each bone.
  6. Measure the length and diameter of the bones and record this information on a piece of paper titled Funny Bones.
  7. Test each bone to see if it will bend and include that information.
  8. Gather the bones up that you are going to use in the experiment and find a container that you can put them in.
  9. A large bowl or pickle jar can be used for this experiment.
  10. Place your clean bones in the bowl.
  11. Pour vinegar (any type will do) over the bones until they are covered.
  12. Place the bowl on a shelf for three days.
  13. Take each bone out of the vinegar solution and see if you can bend it.
  14. Write the results down on the original sheet of paper where you recorded information about each bone.
  15. Make a prediction about what will happen to each bone if you return them to the vinegar for an additional week.
  16. Complete the experiment by keeping the bones in the vinegar for an additional week and record the results of the entire experiment.

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