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Egg-cellent Science Program Thrills Sleepy Hollow Kids

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – Getting an egg into a glass jar isn't that hard, as long as you peel it.

“No matter what I do, that egg's not going in without cracking its shell,” Laura Rypka said to an excited group of kids. “What happened with the balloon? Did you see what happened when it went in? It squished when it went down. It needs to be able to squish a little bit.”

Rypka led a small demonstration and hands-on lesson with a group of about 20 kids in first through sixth grade at Warner Library on Wednesday. The “Sizzling Science” program let kids discover scientific tricks with balloons, paper and eggs.

Rypka demonstrated how to create a vacuum effect and push hard-boiled eggs into a glass jar by putting a burning piece of paper into the jar before setting the egg or balloon on top. She also demonstrated how to do the same thing with water balloons.

When the egg quickly slid down into the jar, Rypka got a round of applause from the audience.

“That's awesome,” one kid said excitedly. “It really works,” Rypka said with a grin.

Things turned sour when Rypka told the kids that the instructions said you could retrieve the egg by blowing air into the bottle and letting the egg pop into your mouth, if you dared.

“Don't try it,” one kid said while others let out a simultaneous “Eww.” Rypka, too, was unnerved by the possibility and looked at the smoke-filled jar.

“The problem is the egg is now covered with burnt paper, so I'm not sure whether in the name of science I want to try this,” Rypka said.

She did try to get the egg out, but found that she couldn't unless she poked it with a stick to break it up.

In addition to the egg demonstration, Rypka had kids learn how to poke a balloon without popping it, although most of the balloons ended up in shreds on the floor as kids learned.

The trick is to use a sharp point coated with oil and pierce the balloon near the tie, where the rubber is least stretched, Rypka said. Rypka explained that this works because the balloons are made of polymers, which have tiny holes in them.

Kids also made paper airplanes out of an index card and straws, spending the last few minutes of the program sending their planes soaring around the room.

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