Learn about Pumpkins with our hands-on FREE Pumpkin Investigation STEM activities
The leaves are turning color and it’s time to visit the pumpkin patch! The word ‘pumpkin’ comes from the Greek word ‘peopon,’ which means ‘large melon.’ Pumpkins come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. There are over 45 different varieties, and you’ll find them on every continent except Antarctica. Of course, there’s the iconic orange pumpkin we love to celebrate in the Autumn, but you’ll also discover varieties that are white, pink, red, and even blue! Some are so small you can hold them in your hand, and others weigh more than several grown men! They can be bumpy or smooth, flat, oval, or round. Which one will you choose this Fall? Subscribe to our Newsletter to download your FREE Pumpkin Investigation sheet and join us for some fun, hands-on STEM activities.
FREE Pumpkin Investigation
what you need:
- two small pumpkins
- large container with water
- measuring tape
- Pumpkin Investigation worksheet
What you do:
- Begin by exploring your pumpkin’s characteristics. What does it look like? What does it feel like or smell like? Is it bumpy or smooth? What color is it? Are there any bruises or dents? Sketch a picture of your pumpkin on your FREE Pumpkin Investigation sheet and add your description.
- Let’s measure our pumpkin! Use a measuring tape to measure its height from base to stem, its width from side to side, and the circumference (all around the middle). With this information, we can also calculate our pumpkin’s radius by dividing the circumference by pi (3.14). Record your results on your FREE Pumpkin Investigation sheet.
- Try comparing pumpkin size by measuring the displacement of water in the classic sink or float experiment. This is always a blast with my girls. Fill a large container with water and make your predictions. Which pumpkin is the biggest? Will your pumpkin sink or float? Measure the height of your water before adding your first pumpkin. Gently drop your pumpkin into the water and see if you were right! Measure the height of your water after adding your pumpkin and record the difference on your Pumpkin Investigation sheet. Complete the experiment again with your second pumpkin. Which pumpkin displaced the most water (largest difference between start and end water levels)? Does this mean it is heavier/bigger or lighter/smaller?
- Now it’s time to start carving! As you clean out your pumpkin record your description of what a pumpkin looks like on the inside. How many seeds does your pumpkin have? Have fun guessing before you count and see which family member had the closest answer! Record your observations on your FREE Pumpkin Investigation sheet.
Sign up for our Books and Willows Newsletter at the end of this post to download your FREE Pumpkin Investigation sheet. You’ll find the link to our subscriber page with all our FREE learning resources in your Welcome Email.
Pumpkin Looking Glass Nature Study
This is just one of the many activities in our Pumpkin Looking Glass Nature Study. Visit the pumpkin patch with us as we explore 27 Charlotte Mason-inspired activities including: open and go learning guides, vintage anatomy & lifecycle worksheets, the history of jack-o-lanterns, artwork study, music study, poetry & copywork, STEM projects, handicrafts, a Pumpkin Patch Scavenger Hunt, Bunting Banner, and more!
Once you are done measuring your pumpkins, don’t forget to see which pumpkin makes the biggest splash!