MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

October 27, 2012

Smashing pumpkins for science

BFSA students cheer messy academic fling

Ben Franklin Science Academy students cheered each time a pumpkin fell from a 60-foot cherry-picker Friday afternoon.

When they weren’t cheering, the students noted on their clipboards how fast each pumpkin fell and how far pieces flew when the pumpkins splattered on the parking lot.

The pumpkin chunking capped off a day of learning about science, technology engineering and math (STEM) Friday. Six pumpkins of various sizes were raised 60 feet in an OG&E cherry-picker truck, then dropped to the parking lot. Older students measured how far pieces flew after the pumpkins hit the ground.

“We’ve had pumpkin activities all day,” BFSA third-grade teacher Donna Lorenz said. “We measured the pumpkins, weighed them, and the students predicted how far they’d spread when they land.”

“We measured to see how heavy each pumpkin was, its mass and its circumference,” said third-grader Krysta Hatcher.

“I learned that pumpkins are very hard, but they crack easily if you drop them from the sky,” said classmate Blade Todd.

Pumpkins weighed from 4 to 20 pounds and ranged from softball size to bigger than a breadbox.

Some students said they expected pieces from the larger, heavier pumpkins to fly the farthest.

Not so.

One piece from a 4-pounder bounced more than 10 feet and landed in the grass.

First-grade teacher Crystal Smith said her students also tried floating pumpkins in water and counting pumpkin seeds.

“We’re doing STEM learning each Friday,” said second-grade teacher Sandra Riley, who logged distances in her tablet computer. She said students learned about mass and circumference.

Does that mean they learned about pumpkin pi?

Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter.

“That could very well be a pumpkin pi,” Riley said, grinning with a new idea. “Each investigation leads to another investigation.”  

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or cspaulding@muskogee phoenix.com.

1
Text Only
Local News
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Poll

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

Yes
No
     View Results
Featured Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks