Science Fun With Thanksgiving Leftovers: Rubber Bones!

Experiments GeekMom
Photo by Flickr user Lydiat

What you’ll need

  • Bones–drumsticks and wishbones are perfect
  • A bowl or jar that has a lid and is large enough to hold the bones
  • Enough vinegar to cover the bones

What to do

  1. Make sure the bones are clean. No meat. Leave them out for a day or so to dry out.
  2. Put the bones in the bowl or jar and cover them with vinegar. Put the lid on.
  3. Wait three days. Eat some leftover turkey. Bake some gingerbread cookies in the shape of your favorite starships. For an extra challenge, make them to scale, crossing series and using Jeff Russell’s starship dimensions for reference. (Then send me pictures!)
  4. Take the bones out and rinse them off.

Presto–Rubber bones! You can even tie them in knots and leave them out to dry that way. If they’re not flexible enough yet, put them back in the vinegar for a few more days. Thick bones will take longer than thin ones. My daughter’s teacher tells me she’s even repeated the process, using the same bones many times with her classes.

What happened?

Bones are hard because of calcium. As a lot of us now-moms learned in the 80s, that’s why they tell us to drink milk. (It does a body good.) Vinegar is acidic. It dissolves the calcium and phosphorus in the bone, making it flexible enough to bend.

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4 thoughts on “Science Fun With Thanksgiving Leftovers: Rubber Bones!

  1. For all of you Doctor Who/Sarah Jane Fans, we used this as an observation while we set up the scientific method! See our Scientific Method set up below:

    Experiment:

    Let Turkey Bones dry out.

    Put the turkey bones in a covered bowl of vinegar.

    What will happen??

    Discovery/Research/Observations:

    Bones are made of Calcium and other minerals. They have a soft part and a hard part. Calcium makes bones hard.

    On Sarah Jane/Doctor Who, we remembered that the Slitheens are made up of all Calcium and they defeated them by spraying them with Vinegar.

    Hypothesis/Educated Guess:
    The bones will still be there, they won’t explode like on Doctor Who, but the white on the bones will melt off and that will make the bones not be strong.

    Results:

  2. For all of you Doctor Who/Sarah Jane Fans, we used this as an observation while we set up the scientific method! See our Scientific Method set up below:

    Experiment:

    Let Turkey Bones dry out.

    Put the turkey bones in a covered bowl of vinegar.

    What will happen??

    Discovery/Research/Observations:

    Bones are made of Calcium and other minerals. They have a soft part and a hard part. Calcium makes bones hard.

    On Sarah Jane/Doctor Who, we remembered that the Slitheens are made up of all Calcium and they defeated them by spraying them with Vinegar.

    Hypothesis/Educated Guess:
    The bones will still be there, they won’t explode like on Doctor Who, but the white on the bones will melt off and that will make the bones not be strong.

    Results:

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