Some first grade classes at Eastover had an opportunity to be pumpkin scientists. Teacher Julie Jacobs said the project is designed to give students a hands-on, engaging experience. “To get them involved in the learning process, we watch videos of different things, but for them to be able to dig inside of a pumpkin gives them a whole new experience. It is taking all the different components of science where we had math, predictions, testing, and measuring.”
Students worked in small groups conducting many experiments with their pumpkins. They drew realistic pictures of their specific pumpkins and used their five senses to describe them. Students then predicted and measured how tall the pumpkins were using cubes. Next, groups brought their pumpkins up to a giant bucket of water to predict and check if their large pumpkins would sink or float. Students were SHOCKED that all of the pumpkins floated!
Daisy Myers explained, “Before we cut it in it, we said if it floated or not, but it did float because we found it had a whole bunch of air in it.” Jacobs noted, “The students definitely were the most surprised about the pumpkins floating. Some of them thought only the smaller ones would float, but not the bigger ones. Afterward, we also watched a video about the Atlantic Giant pumpkins where the students saw that even the biggest pumpkins float and how some communities even use them as canoes and do fall races with them.”
Finally, the pumpkins were then cut into and students began to draw and describe a pumpkin seed. Eastover student Elizabeth Birmingham explained that the students all took turns pulling out the seeds. “We counted all the seeds by tens and fives. We got 150 seeds.” McCoy Klebba, who worked with Elizabeth, was surprised by the number of seeds. “It’s a really big number,” said McCoy. “I’ve never counted that far before.” Harper Keegan exclaimed, “This is how many seeds we got: 508! I thought it was going to be 105. It was bigger. My favorite part was taking out the seeds because I liked the gooey stuff!
The morning concluded by learning about pumpkin life cycles and making a list of pumpkin questions the students could keep exploring together. This pumpkin project is just one example of how BHS students are provided with hands-on learning experiences to enrich their classroom learning.