Teachers Parents Students

Pumpkin Seed Puzzle

By Kim Mullin

800px-Pumpkins-200.jpg
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.

thumbnail
School and family science weekly spotlight: explore the strength of arches using eggshells.

thumbnail
From creating systems to desalinate water using solar energy to growing rooftop gardens to increase food supply and regulate building temperature, environmental engineers tackle all kinds of problems and innovate new solutions to help create a more sustainable world. Students...

thumbnail
A few year ago, Laura did a science project on bacteria and water bottles. Today, she is a finalist in a global challenge and encouraging other girls to get excited about STEM!

thumbnail
You like your gelatin desserts solid and jiggly but not runny, right? A kitchen chemistry experiment reveals why certain gelatin and fruit combinations might appear at a potluck or picnic and not others. For this student and her family, the...

thumbnail
Egg science comes over-easy this time of year. Whether you are boiling eggs, dyeing eggs, or both, there are easy questions you can ask with your kids to turn the activity into a hands-on science experiment that everyone will enjoy....

thumbnail
This great guide and collection of family-friendly activities lets kids explore the history of robotics and put robotics engineering concepts to use with hands-on projects at home. Introduce Students to Robotics Engineering Robotics: DISCOVER THE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY OF THE...



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!


Help With Your Science Project

The following popular posts are designed to help students at critical stages of the science project process.


You may print and distribute up to 200 copies of this document annually, at no charge, for personal and classroom educational use. When printing this document, you may NOT modify it in any way. For any other use, please contact Science Buddies.