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Pumpkin Science: Sink or Float?

Pumpkins can be pretty heavy. Do you think pumpkins float or sink in water?

Try it and find out!

Materials

  • Several pumpkins of different sizes
  • One jack o' lantern or carved pumpkin
  • Bathtub
  • Towels to keep the floor dry

Instructions

  1. Fill your bathtub with water.
     
  2. Gather a few pumpkins of various sizes and weights. For each pumpkin, make a prediction—will it float or sink?
     
  3. Gently place the pumpkins in the water and see what happens.
    • Was your prediction correct?
    • Why do you think the pumpkins floated or sank?
  4. Now try the experiment again with a jack o’ lantern or carved pumpkin. Make your prediction—will it float or sink?
    • Was your prediction correct?
    • Is this the same or different from what the whole pumpkins did? Why or why not?

This activity is just one part of the Young Explorers page featured in the Fall 2016 issue of Explore.

Get the Pumpkins Activity Sheet
Check Out Young Explorers