Halloween Science

GUESS THE PUMPKIN’S WEIGHT!
Need:
Large pumpkin
Bathroom or science class scale
Slips of paper
Have children write their estimates of the pumpkin’s weight on a slip of paper. Kids write their names on the paper, fold them, and place in a box. At the end of the time-frame, weigh the pumpkin and award a prize or the pumpkin to the child with the closest guess.

__________

GROWING IN A PUMPKIN!
Start this about two weeks before Halloween
Materials:
1 small pumpkin for each child or experiement
Paint
Cotton Batting
Mustard, Watercress or birdseed
Water

Cut the top off the pumpkin and and clean out the seeds.
Paint a face on the pumpkin. (If it is Halloween project–if it is for Fall/Autumn, leave natural)
Fill the pumpkin with cotton and spray with water.
Sprinkle the seeds on the batting.
Keep the batting moist, and seeds will sprout in about 2 weeks or sooner….just in time for Halloween!

________

LEFT-OVER PUMPKIN SEEDS!

You can quickly make pumpkin seeds in your microwave. The shells are edible — and a good source of fiber. You can also use this method with other seeds such as acorn squash and butternut squash.

Ingredients:
1 cup pumpkin seeds, 1 Tbsp. Olive oil or butter, Salt, seasoned salt, garlic /onion powder or other seasonings to your choice.

Rinse pumpkin seeds. Remove all the pulp. Drain the seeds and discard the pulp. Spread out on paper towel on a cookie sheet and dry them over-night. Place butter or Olive Oil l in a microwave-safe, baking dish.

Microwave on high about 7 to 8 minutes or until seeds are toasted a light golden color. Be sure to stir every 2 minutes as they are cooking. When done, sprinkle with your choice of seasonings. Coat evenly. Cool them before eating or storing. They can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 months or refrigerate up to 1 year.

If you like your toasted pumpkin seeds extra-salty, soak them overnight in a solution of 1/4 cup salt to 2 cups of water. Dry an additional day, and follow the above directions.

__________

DOES A PUMPKIN SINK OR FLOAT?

Fill a large clear storage container or aquarium with water. (If the weather is warm, you can do it outside). Have children make predictions of what will happen and graph the predictions. Do the experiments to determine if they were right or not.

Make it interesting and get a few pumpkin sizes.

You may hear predictions that the smaller pumpkins will float and the large will sink. (Pumpkins float)

  • Talk about why they float… If older kids know the answers… have them run the activity. The pumpkin (and watermelon) will float because its mass is less than the mass of water it displaces. This is due primarily because the inside of the pumpkin and melon are hollow. It is mostly air, which has a much lower mass than water.

__________________

PUMPKIN EXPERIMENT
Prepare the experiment by cutting two pie pumpkins in half. (This will give you four halves.)
Place each pumpkin half in a plastic bag that is mostly closed (the environment needs to be moist, yet allow some fresh air to enter).

Set one bag in a sunny spot, one in a shady spot, one in the refrigerator, and one in a location of the students’ choosing.
Ask kids to predict which pumpkin will grow the most mold over the course of the experiment.

Set aside time each day for students to examine the pumpkin halves and record their observations.
Then ask students: Where is the best place to keep a jack-o-lantern in order to keep it from spoiling?

______

After doing the above—here is a TIP FOR KEEPING THOSE CARVED-OUT PUMPKINS FRESH!

Some say that coating the inside of the emptied/carved pumpkin with petroleum jelly (Vaseline) should help preserve and keep the pumpkin from shriveling/getting moldy.

Trying various methods myself–the pumpkins that stayed freshest the longest were those sprayed with “Clorox Cleanup” (or a mixture of bleach and water).

Spray the bleach and water inside of the pumpkin daily. Killing off mold spores with a bleach solution helps preserve the pumpkin. If your pumpkin starts to look as if it needs rehydration– (wilting or caving in)– fill a large container with cold water and 2 or 3 tablespoons of bleach. Good results should be achieved when soaked overnight.

Pumpkins kept outdoors in very cool weather should last a week without any treatment…

These Halloween Science activities were spotted on Kids Activities.

Visit Go Au Pair at http://www.goaupair.com

Advertisements