We were at the library when we found some books about bones.
B started asking lots of questions about bones and why they are so hard and why they break and not just bend.
I knew I had seen an experiment about softening bones, so I went a google-ing until I came across Science Bob’s Bend a Bone with Vinegar Experiment.
All you need is:
- a chicken bone
- large jar or cup
It is quite an easy experiment too. All you have to do is:
- Wash the chicken bone to remove all the meat. Bob suggests using a leg bone, but we didn’t have any of them.
- Look and feel the chicken bone and try to gently bend it. The bone should be hard because it has calcium in it.
- Place the bone in the jar and cover with vinegar.
- Let it sit for 3 days and then remove the bone.
- Rinse the bone and try to bend it. It should feel rubbery and bend quite easily now that all the calcium has been taken out of it.
How does this work?
Vinegar is a mild acid that is able to dissolve away the calcium from the bone. When the bone has calcium it is nice and strong, without the calcium it is soft.
I have a Science Experiment Activity Sheet if you wish to write up this science experiment. You can download it for free by clicking the link below.