Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Repurposing Pumpkins

Carving pumpkins was on our list to do for the fall holidays.   

The girls had a great time carving, and did most of the work themselves except for gutting the pumpkins – that was a bit too icky for them, so that job fell to me.


They turned out great – unfortunately, we left them on the front porch a bit too long.  For some unexplained reason, the pumpkin on the right started decaying much more rapidly than the one on the left.

And then we left them a little longer. 

The left one was showing obvious signs of decay – the right one finally just gave up and collapsed.  An awful smell had begun emanating from the one on the right, so I decided it was high time that I threw them away.

But wait – I asked myself, “What kind of homeschool mom just chunks a rotten pumpkin with extremely cool hairy stuff growing all over it?”

Not this homeschool mom.  :)  So, out comes the microscope.

Bravely, I gathered the necessary supplies to harvest part of the pumpkin.  I was a tad wary, but the harvesting wasn’t as gross as I suspected it would be.  At least, my gag reflex was never triggered.

Next was making a slide for the microscope.  Left to right on the slide:  completely hairy moldy stuff, slightly hair moldy stuff with orange pumpkin still visible, rotting orange pumpkin, and a papery piece of the pumpkin skin that was peeling off.

Then the fun began - note the held noses.

Reactions?  “Cool!” on most of the specimens; “Gross!” on the hairy moldy specimen, but it was still expressed with a smile, plus they took a second (and third) look.

Even daddy wanted in on the fun.

And now, pumpkins, you have served us well – but we must bid you a fond farewell.  Thanks for feeding (so to speak!) my girls’ science fascination!


  1. ew! but awesome :) We don't have a microscope (yet) but that sounds like something my kids would want to do- take a rotten bit of something and have a closer look :)

  2. What a wonderful idea! I always say that school is everywhere. My kids love to see things magnified.

  3. Great job carving and turning a stinky mess into a learning experience. They do get icky fast.

  4. My favorite part is scooping out all the gooey stuff! What a fun idea this is! Homeschooling is great. :)

  5. Hehe... We've done that before although I don't think we had as many interesting specimens. ;)