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Can You Make A Pumpkin Explode?


To bring in the start of fall activities we wanted to bring you a fun, easy, and somewhat messy STEM Challenge that your students are going to love.

The challenge is to make an erupting pumpkin volcano!

What you per class...

  • Mini Pumpkins (with stem area cut out and seeds removed) 
  • Baking Soda 
  • Dish Soap 
  • Vinegar 
  • Measuring Spoon 
  • Tray

What you per student...

What you need to do...

  •  Start by gathering students in one area and hand out the Creator Sheets. 
  • We recommend you do this as a class because it can get messy. 
  • If the weather is nice this is the perfect challenge to take outside!   
  • Ask students if they think it's possible to make a pumpkin explode. 
  • Have students write on their Creator Sheets what it is they already know.   
  • Continue the discussion by asking how, what, and why? 
  • Next have students write down what it is they want to learn from this STEM Challenge. 
  • Ask students to share what it is they want to learn and keep their answers in mind as you move forward.   
  • Bring out your mini pumpkins and place them on a tray where all students can see. 
  • Get out the baking soda, dish soap, vinegar, and measuring spoon. 
  • Add two spoonfuls of baking soda into the mini pumpkin and a few drops of dish soap. 
  • Ask students what they think will happen when you add the final ingredient, vinegar. 
  • Add the vinegar and get ready for students to be amazed by the erupting pumpkin volcano! 
  • To add an explanation, explain to students that the reason for the explosion is due to a chemical reaction. 
  • When the vinegar and the baking soda combine they make carbon dioxide which is what causes the eruption.   
  • Finish by asking students to write down what they learned from the STEM Challenge. 
  • Have students share and reflect on what they learned. Did they expect the pumpkin to explode?  

We would love to see you try this STEM Challenge. Share your results with us through social media!

Happy Making,

Maker Maven

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