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Pumpkin Parts

9/25/18

Pumpkin Parts

By Bethany Caldwell, Science Educator

Learn more about the parts of a pumpkin in this DIY experiment!

Have no fear, Halloween is almost here! What better way to celebrate the season than by grabbing a pumpkin and creating a jack-o-lantern to decorate your stoop? Instead of throwing away all those ooey-gooey pumpkin parts, use them to learn more about fall’s favorite fruit with this not-so-spooky DIY activity!

Materials

Click on the link above to print out your activity sheet! Once you have that assembled, take the seeds and pulp out of your pumpkin and lay them in your labeled areas on the worksheet. Use this time to talk about each part of the pumpkin, including the stem and skin. Talk about how those tiny seeds grow up to become big pumpkins like the one you’re working with now!

The Science

Pumpkins, squash, and gourds are all part of the Cucurbitaceae family, according to the Missouri Botanical Garden. This large plant family includes more than 900 species, including everything from orange pumpkins, to juicy watermelons and even the cucumbers in your salad. As we mentioned above, a pumpkin is a fall fruit, not a vegetable. So, when thinking of your favorite fruits, don’t forget our friend the pumpkin!

Further Exploration

  • Discuss other fruits and veggies that come out in the fall like pumpkins. Are there any similarities between the different plants?
  • Use your five senses to explore the pumpkin together!
    • What does your pumpkin feel like? Is it bumpy or smooth?
    • What does your pumpkin smell like? Does the inside have a different smell than the outside?
    • What does your pumpkin taste like? Try a nibble of the soft meat inside the pumpkin or you can roast the pumpkin seeds for a tasty and nutritious snack! Get a recipe here.
    • What does your pumpkin sound like? Tap the outside of your pumpkin to hear it’s pleasant, hollow sound.
  • Visit the science center all October as we Get Spooky in time for the Halloween season. Grab your tickets now for our first-ever Science Spooktacular, happening October 31. ????????
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