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What's in a Watermelon?

Are the seeds in your watermelon playing hide-and-seek? Can plants grow without soil? The plant world offers a cornucopia of mysteries that are ripe for investigation.

Watermelon seeds inspire science inquiry for students and families

On a hot summer day, cold, crisp, and juicy watermelon is one of my favorite treats. Delicious and healthy, watermelon is hard to beat, especially when you also consider the entertainment those big black seeds can provide. That's right, put one in your mouth and spit it as far as you can! Did you know that the current watermelon seed spitting world record is almost 70 feet?

Where Did All of the Seeds Go?

Before you organize a backyard seed-spitting contest, you may want to see if you can find a seeded watermelon. Years ago, every watermelon at the grocery store was full of black seeds, but now, in most U.S. stores, you have a harder time finding watermelons with seeds than without. How can this be? Don't you need seeds to grow more fruit?

That sounds like a great science question for students and families to explore!

Science on the Table and in the Garden

While the science of growing seedless watermelons might be difficult for younger children to understand, there are certainly lots of plant-related science questions that kids of all ages can explore. Whether you are snacking on a piece of fruit or caring for a houseplant, start a conversation about why and how things grow.

Below are a few Science Buddies Project Ideas to get you started.

Plant the Seeds for Future Interest in Science

From potatoes to moss, you'll find even more plant-related ideas in Science Buddies' Plant Biology section.

And if you find watermelons with seeds at your local market, you might see how your seed spitting skills compare with the current record!


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