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  • Sara Thompson

Any Way You Crack It

By Sara Thompson

Special to the Enterprise

Image credit is Isabelle Hurbain-Palatin, obtained from Wikimedia Commons.

Chicken eggs are a versatile ingredient in food preparations. They can be fried, scrambled, boiled, and more! They are a good source of protein and are more complex than just white, yolk, and shell.

When you see a chicken egg, it is a little wider on one side and narrower on the other. This helps prevent the egg from rolling away if it falls from the nest. The shape causes it to roll back on itself and stop forward momentum. The shell is the outermost part of an egg. It is covered in tiny pores that allow for air and moisture exchange. These pores are also protected by a cuticle that fight against external bacteria or prevent dust from entering the egg.

Inside the egg is much more complex than some people realize. The interior of the egg contains two membranes. One connecting to the shell and the white of the egg, and another between the white and the yolk. The membranes are made up of proteins and keratin and protect the inner egg from bacteria and other microscopic invaders.

The white part of the egg is called the albumen. It is made up of vitamins, proteins, minerals, and water and are absorbed by the chick in a fertilized egg, and when unfertilized, those nutrients pass onto us when eaten. The yolk is the very center of the egg. It can range in color from light yellow to a deep orange. This part also contains proteins, minerals, vitamins, and fats.

Helping to stabilize the interior of the egg is the chalazae. It is a stringy, white substance that is attached to opposite ends of the yolk to prevent it from twisting during development. At the wider end of the egg is an air sac. This space develops when a laid egg cools and helps cushion the interior of the egg. It also expands and contracts due to changes in air and moisture both outside and inside the egg.

Different chicken breeds will have slightly different sized and colored eggs, but the structures within them area all the same and serve the same purposes.

Join us for an “Egg”travaganza on Saturday, April 8th from 10am-2pm. Egg themed crafts and activities include making a spring themed book mark, an egg shaped suncatcher, bunny ears, handprint art, exploring different experiments with eggs, and meeting some live chicks. Admission is $5 per person. Explorit Members, ASTC, and those age 2 and under free.

Explorit's coming events:

• Summer Science Camp registration is open, and spaces fill quickly! Price is $185 Explorit Members and $210 for Non-Members. To join a camp’s waiting list please fill out our online form at

• Our exhibit “Explorit Rocks!” is open to the public on Fridays from 1-4pm, Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-2pm. Admission is $5 per person. Explorit Members, ASTC, and those age 2 and under free.

• A Membership to Explorit grants the recipient free visits to Explorit’s regular public hours, discounts on events, summer camps and workshops, and gives you ASTC benefits to visit other museums throughout the world. To purchase or for more information visit or call Explorit at 530-756-0191.

• School Programs are available to schedule for next school year. We have educational programs that travel to schools and options for field trips at our facility. Please call 530-756-0191 for more information or to schedule.

• Now is a great time to donate and help Explorit continue to educate and inspire the scientists of tomorrow:

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