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
Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques ShowBiz Minute: Hoffman, Oberst, Box Office WWII Vet Gets Medals, 70 Years Late Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror'
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