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The Great Pumpkin Lab: Determining Whether a Pumpkin’s Size Impacts How Many Seeds It Contains

In the spirit of Halloween, Mr. Briner created an activity for his 7th grade life science class that allowed them to apply their critical thinking skills and have fun creating jack-o’-lanterns at the same time.

Students in Mr. Briner’s class brought in pumpkins of all different sizes, and Mr. Briner weighed each one before students officially began the lab assignment. They then used the scientific method to predict which pumpkin would have the most seeds and, in general, whether or not the weight and size of a pumpkin affects the amount of seeds within it.

When their predictions were made and their individual pumpkin-carving areas were set up, students carved out the tops of their pumpkins and removed the insides so that they could count the total amount of seeds inside each one.

What the students discovered is that, despite what many of them thought, the size of the pumpkin was not relative to how many seeds it contained. Some smaller pumpkins had hundreds of seeds, while even the larger ones did not even break triple digits.

“One of our classmates had a really big pumpkin, but then it only had about six seeds,” Lauren K. said.

It was a reminder to students of how unique every individual creation is and that certain variables will remain independent, while others will remain constant, and some will be dependent.

Sydney L. said that, though the size of the pumpkin was perhaps a bit deceiving, it makes sense that the number of seeds wasn’t what was originally expected because, as she pointed out, “all pumpkins are different.”

And that uniqueness of each pumpkin is what makes it difficult to determine how many seeds it will have inside.

“It’s like a snowflake,” Lauren added.

After students had finished counting all of the seeds and recording their results, they used their creativity skills to carve their pumpkins into decorative jack-o’-lanterns that could be displayed at the Historic Anaheim Campus’ annual Halloween Haunt later that evening. They were then tasked with writing reports that detailed their findings and what they learned throughout the process of the activity.

This activity allowed students not only to apply what they’ve learned with the scientific method and discover new truths about independent, dependent, and controlled variables but also to enjoy one another’s company with an exciting and interactive assignment — and having fun in the classrooms certainly has its benefits.

“It’s the best way to learn,” Sydney said.

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Shelby Wagner - 1st Grade Teacher Fairmont Historic AnaheimTop Teacher & Skating Champion
Shelby “My favorite part of being a teacher is the children I get to teach.”
  • Is one of the head teachers for the Fountain Valley Artistic Skating Club, teaching regional and national champions. She also teaches beginner classes every Saturday morning.
  • Every year, her students are amazed to find that their teacher has a life outside of the classroom.
“I love feeling like I’m part of a family [at Fairmont].”
Keira Kamath - 5th Grade Fairmont Anaheim HillsScience & Tennis Superstar
keira “I like how there are so many different specialty classes at Fairmont Anaheim Hills, like art, music, PE, science lab, computer lab, and Spanish.”
  • She would like to be a professional tennis player when she grows up, or maybe a doctor.
  • Loves dance and plays the piano
  • Her favorite class is science “because you get to figure out stuff, and I like to do experiments.”
Nicholas Aghaian - 7th Grade Fairmont Historic AnaheimKicking His Way to Med School
nicolas“The teachers and the amount of support they provide to not only me, but to the whole entire community here at Fairmont is probably what I like most about attending Fairmont Historic Anaheim.”
  • He would like to be a professional soccer player, or a doctor specializing in the field of sports medicine.
  • Enjoys basketball, piano, and soccer pitch.
  • His favorite subject is math “because I like to be challenged, and math is full of challenges.”
Gianluca De Gregoris – 2nd Grade Fairmont North TustinDancing Toward Greatness
dancing"What I like most about Fairmont is that I get to learn and meet new friends.”
  • He wants to be a professional dancer when he grows up.
  • Is trained in ballet and ballroom dancing.
  • Loves writing and creating new stories.
Nicole Heyman - Kindergarten Teacher Fairmont Anaheim HillsLaying a Foundation for Lifelong Learning
Nicole "The best part about teaching at Fairmont is being able to work with a diverse group of students who are all incredibly talented. It is amazing to be able to challenge students at such a young age and watch these children grow throughout the year.”
  • Loves camping, reading, and traveling
  • Her students love learning random things about her – like the fact that when she was in kindergarten she wanted to be Spiderman when she grew up.
  • Her proudest moments are the times when a student on campus is excited to see her, oftentimes telling her that she’s “the best teacher in the world.” “I live for those moments.”
“I choose to teach at Fairmont because of the sense of community, as well as the drive for our students to succeed.”
DJ Clovis - Music Teacher Fairmont North TustinRunning to the Rhythm
DJ Clovis “I get to work with amazing staff, faculty, parents, and most importantly, students!”
  • Teaches music to all grades — from pre-kindergarten through 8th grade
  • Coaches (or has coached) football, basketball, and Run Club
  • Plays bass trombone
  • NJHS Conflict Resolution Coach
  • He has run 15 marathons and 4 ultra marathons.
“The best part of teaching at Fairmont is the autonomy — being able to create a program that fits all of my students. At Fairmont North Tustin, I get to help with a lot of different activities.”