Halloween has passed and now you might be wondering, “What do I do with my leftover pumpkins?” Before they rot and are tossed in the garbage, why not have a little bit of STEM fun with these five pumpkin STEM activities. These activities appeal to a variety of ages and most can be down with simple household items. Let’s take a look at how you can use your pumpkins for STEM learning!
1. Pumpkin Volcano
This twist on the classic baking soda and vinegar volcano, is a great way for kids to learn about chemical reactions. Pumpkin volcanoes only require a few household items including a pumpkin, baking soda, and vinegar. To create an even bubblier reaction, also use liquid dish soap. Full directions for this activity can be found Here.
2. Pumpkin Geoboard
Your pumpkin can become a hands-on three dimensional math experience by turning it into a geoboard. All you need is a pumpkin, rubber bands, pushpins, golf tees, and wooden mallets. Kids can use these materials to explore math concepts such as geometric shapes, 3D modeling, and patterning. With this fun activity, kids also get to display their creative expression by creating original designs. Full directions for this activity can be found Here.
3. Pumpkin Slime
This pumpkin slime is squishy, stretchy, moldable, and just the right amount of messy, easily coming off hands. All you need to create this slime is clear school glue, liquid starch, water, orange food coloring, and a few pumpkin seeds. Next throw this slime into a cleaned out pumpkin and let the kids play. This activity is great for younger kids and teaches them about STEM through measuring and mixing together ingredients to create the slime. Full directions for this activity can be found Here.
4. Pumpkin Within A Pumpkin
This activity is a great way to teach kids about the circle of life, from seed to sprout to full grown pumpkin. By planting a pumpkin seed within an already cleaned out pumpkin, kids learn about experimental design and hypothesizing if a pumpkin can grow within a pumpkin. All you need for this activity is a cleaned out pumpkin, pumpkin seed, potting soil, and water. Over time the seed will sprout and the outer pumpkin will deteriorate; you can then plant the entire thing into the ground or a larger pot to keep it growing. Full directions for this activity can be found Here.
5. Pumpkin Catapult
What better way to get rid of old pumpkins than with a homemade catapult. This activity is best suited for middle school to high school aged students, teaching them physics and the entire engineering process from design to project execution. Adult supervision and assistance may be required. Several different materials are needed for this STEM activity, which can be picked up at your local Home Depot or Lowes. Full directions for this activity can be found Here.
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