Hooked on Science: Seeds in a pumpkin

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Using a little science you can determine how many seeds are in a pumpkin without dissecting the pumpkin.

Materials

* Small pumpkin

* Medium pumpkin

* Large pumpkin

* Newspaper

Instructions

STEP 1: Weigh, determine the diameter and circumference of each pumpkin and count the lines on each pumpkin. Record your information.

STEP 2: Have an adult remove the tops from the pumpkins.

STEP 3: Place each pumpkin on a piece of newspaper. Remove the seeds and pulp from each pumpkin.

STEP 4: Separate the pulp from the seeds. Count the seeds from the small pumpkin, the medium pumpkin, and then the large pumpkin. Record your information.

Explanation

You can never tell how many seeds are in a pumpkin until you cut it open. There are some clues that might help you determine the number of seeds inside a pumpkin. For each line on the outside of the pumpkin there is a row of seeds on the inside. You can also look at the color of the pumpkin. The longer a pumpkin grows, the darker and the more lines the pumpkin gets, therefore the more seeds inside the pumpkin.

Jason Lindsey is a science outreach educator with Hooked on Science. Check out his website hookedonscience.org for webcasts and experiments.

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