Science Experiment with a Halloween Twist

The inner life of pumpkins

Recently, the children in the Turtle Group at SIS Swiss International School Ingolstadt were scientists! The question, ‘If we put a pumpkin in water, will it sink to the bottom or float to the top?’ was put to them.

Each scientist first had to make a prediction, which they learned a very big word for: hypothesis. Naturally, some research had to follow to figure out if we the hypotheses were right or wrong. In order to do this, the children touched, rolled and picked up pumpkins to see how heavy or light they were. As a class, they discussed the shape and weight of the pumpkins and learned a lot about them. After every scientist stated their hypothesis, it was time to put them to the test.
The class gathered around a giant tub of water and waited to see what would happen. Slowly, the pumpkin was lowered into the water…

‘PUMPKINS FLOAT!’ yelled Leo.
‘It’s swimming!’ shouted Kaia.
‘I was right!’ Alisa said proudly.

So now that they knew that pumpkins float, the big question that remained was: ‘why’? After testing several more pumpkins of different sizes, another question emerged: why the pumpkin could float no matter what size or shape it was. To figure out the reason, the group decided to cut open the pumpkin and see what was inside!

The scientists moved back to the carpet and the pumpkin was cut open! This brought to light that pumpkins are mostly hollow, so they contain mostly air. The young scientists thus determined that this is what allows a pumpkin to float. The dissection also shows that there were seeds in a pumpkin and what the vegetable smells like. More hands-on experiments like this will be conducted throughout the year!

Pumpkin experiment at SIS Ingolstadt

Big pumpkin experiment at SIS Ingolstadt