Now that it is fall, all of the kids that I know are excited about everything related to the season – pumpkins, hay rides, colourful leaves. I wanted to stay with this inquiry for our STEM activity today. I love doing easy science experiments because kids love them and I feel learn a lot from them. They are always determined to find a solution to the challenge they are given. Today they were faced with the challenge of creating a structure to hold their baby pumpkin in the water.
- Pieces of small rectangular wood
- Large popsicle sticks
- Wooden sticks (3 sizes)
- Styrofoam plates
- Baby pumpkins
I laid all of the materials out so that students could choose what they felt they needed. I did not suggest to them how to make their structure; however, I did show them that the wood and styrofoam plate would float. In groups, students selected their materials and set off to work.
I am always amazed at how different each of the groups creations turn out. Some students used lots of tape to hold it together. Others simply used elastics to attach their pumpkin to the rectangular board. Once all of the groups were done, we gathered around our bucket of water to test out the structures. I placed their pumpkin and structure into the water and if the pumpkin stayed on it and if everything floated we considered it a success!
The fun part about this experiment is that every structure and pumpkin will float. Students were excited to notice that their pumpkin floated on its own. Since pumpkins are hollow, they don’t need a structure to help it float, but they sure are fun to create anyways. (A few extra examples of students creations below).