Pumpkin Science

My friend Kaley is full of creative ideas for making learning fun. Last year, she put together an after-school Science Club for preschoolers and early elementary children, which met for 45 minutes per week. Each meeting, the kids did an experiment using the scientific method: developing the question, making a prediction (hypothesis), conducting the experiment (procedure), recording observations and results, and drafting a conclusion.

If you have a ton of pumpkins on-hand (and I have nine….don’t ask), this is a fun way to get children thinking analytically. You’ll need:

  • Pumpkins of various sizes
  • A large bucket or tub of water (make sure the pumpkins will fit)
  • Crayons
  • Pencils
  • Pumpkin prediction sheets (I found these at the online Teacher Resource Center: http://www.trcabc.com/wp-content/uploads/Pumpkin-Record.pdf)
  • Knife (if you are going to cut the pumpkins open at the end)

 What you’ll do:

Show the children the pumpkins. You might even let each child pick them up to feel how heavy they are. Hand out the pumpkin prediction sheets, and let each child make an educated guess about whether the pumpkins will sink or float in water. They can check a box and draw a picture on their sheet.

Then conduct the experiment, dropping each pumpkin into the water. Afterward lead a discussion about what the children saw. You can even cut open a pumpkin so everyone can see that a pumpkin is hollow and full of air.

The online Teacher Resource Center has other seasonal experiments as well. With such great resources at your fingertips, you might even be tempted to start your own Science Club.

 

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