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Pumpkin Seed Puzzle

By Kim Mullin

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With Thanksgiving this week, you might even be counting on pumpkin pie after dinner, at least once! If the baker in your house is using fresh pumpkin, it's a perfect time for young scientists to turn pumpkin guts into a scientific investigation. Image: Wikipedia
Pumpkins seem to be everywhere in the fall, and with good reason. Fall is when pumpkins turn ripe, so we eat them (mmm, pie!) and use them for decorations.


If you've ever opened up a pumpkin, you know that it is full of "pumpkin guts." Stringy, messy, and full of seeds, many people just throw the guts away. Others like to roast the seeds for a tasty snack.

A pumpkin is a squash. Open up other kinds of squash, such as an acorn or butternut squash, and you'll find similar stringy guts, full of seeds. Why? Because seeds are how many plants make new plants. If you plant seeds from a fresh pumpkin, with a little water and care, you might get a new pumpkin plant next year—your very own pumpkin patch!

Why do you think pumpkins have so many seeds? After all, some fruits, such as an avocado have only one giant seed. Do all types of squash have lots of seeds? And what about size? Do you think that a large pumpkin will have more seeds than a small one? Explore more about seeds in different kinds and different varieties of fruits in the How Many Seeds Do Different Types of Fruit Produce project.

Science Buddies Science Activities

Science Buddies and Autodesk for Student STEM Exploration


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A recent robotics workshop gave students in New Jersey the opportunity to experiment with 3D design using Autodesk® Tinkercad® and then to use their custom parts in their robots.

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School and family science weekly spotlight: What happens when you heat up or cool down a bunch of molecules? Do rubber bands behave as you might expect?

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This year, give your hardboiled eggs a twist and turn ordinary ovoid hardboiled eggs into fun shapes! The trick to the transformation is understanding the science behind the process of hardboiling.

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School and family science weekly spotlight: mix up your own bubbly drink and experiment to find just the right combination of ingredients.

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As winter turns to spring, farmers are preparing to plant this year's crops. For some, tilling their fields is a thing of the past.

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Mesmerizing video puts the physics of liquid in motion. Students and families can explore related science with hands-on activities that are fun to do at home or in the classroom.



Your Science!
What will you explore for your science project this year? What is your favorite classroom science activity? Email us a short (one to three sentences) summary of your science project or teaching tip. You might end up featured in an upcoming Science Buddies newsletter!



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