Pumpkin STEM Activities

Instructor: Grace Pisano

Grace has taught high school history in several states with a master's degree in teaching.

In this asset you will find activities to connect STEM concepts with pumpkins for your elementary aged students. These activities allow for both individual and group work and are the perfect fall addition to your classroom.

Pumpkin STEM Activities

Although school may begin in the summer where you teach, the first season you will celebrate as a class is fall. Beginning in early September, stores around the country begin to put out fall merchandise, most notably, pumpkins. When students start seeing pumpkins in stores, you have a great segway to the STEM concepts of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Use these activities in your elementary class to help students learn more about pumpkins. These activities will most likely fall in the months of September, October and November and they provide opportunities for both group and individual work.

Life Cycle of a Pumpkin (Science)

In this activity, your students will learn about and create a graphic organizer that describes the life cycle of a pumpkin. This fits into units on biology, botany and environmental science. Begin by talking with your students about the general life cycle of plants. Then, go over the steps in the life cycle of a pumpkin. This includes:

  1. Planting a seed
  2. The seed turning into a small sprout
  3. The sprout growing into a vine
  4. The vine eventually flowering
  5. The flower, once pollinated, creating a green pumpkin
  6. The pumpkin turning orange as it ripens

After you have talked about these steps, have students create a graphic organizer that names each step and includes an image. As an easy additional activity to go with this, you could have students plant a pumpkin seed in a paper cup. After the seeds sprout, send the plants home with your students to transfer into the ground. This way, they can watch the life cycle of a pumpkin play out first hand.

  • Materials Needed: Paper, coloring materials (Optional - paper cups, soil, pumpkin seeds)

Pumpkin Graphing (Math)

For this activity, students will collect data about the number of pumpkins on their street and use this data to create a graph. To begin, students should count the number of pumpkins on their street. The best way to do this is to have them create a tally chart with one mark for each pumpkin. For students who live on a very long street, have them collect data from 10 houses. Have the students bring this data to class.

Then, set up a bar graph on the board and survey the students to see what the highest number of pumpkins was. This will help you set up the scale on the chart. As a class, have the students decide on the main elements of the graph: title, x-axis, y-axis, scale, key. Then, have students come to the board and chart the number of pumpkins from their tally chart.

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