Science Project:

Seedy Situation

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Research Question:

Does tapping a pomegranate with a spoon help move the seeds out of the pomegranate?

Seeds have many ways of travelling through the world, and one of their ploys is to be delicious. Animals and people eat seeds and pass them through their bodies, spreading them around. Some of our food plants are seeds or fruits, since these tend to be a particularly palatable part of the plant.

Pomegranates are a delightful holiday fruit. They’re delicious and the seeds look wonderful in salads. However, they’ve also frustrated children for generations, since those little seeds are so difficult to get out of the hard outer peel and inner skin.

In this experiment, you will determine whether tapping the outside of the pomegranate with a spoon helps the seeds release from the interior of the pomegranate and makes it easier to eat.

Materials:

  • Two pomegranates of about the same size
  • One spoon
  • Plate
  • Knife
  • Notebook
  • Pen

Experimental Procedure

  1. Get two pomegranates of equal size. Get one spoon.
  2. Set up the pomegranates beside each other on the table, each with a plate underneath to catch the seeds.
  3. Set up the stopwatch.
  4. Use the knife to cut one pomegranate into quarters.
  5. Start the stopwatch. Remove all of the seeds from one pomegranate as quickly as you can. Stop the stopwatch when you are finished.
  6. Using the spoon, tap the second pomegranate around the sides firmly for a minute or more.
  7. Use the knife to cut the second pomegranate into quarters.
  8. Start the stopwatch. Remove all of the seeds from one pomegranate as quickly as you can. Stop the stopwatch when you are finished.
  9. Compare the two numbers. Did the seeds from the second pomegranate come out more quickly than the first?
  10. What are some potential sources of error in this experiment?

Terms/Concepts: Learn about the seed structures of different plants; Learn about the legends and history of the pomegranate;Learn about different ways to remove seeds from a pomegranate

References:

Author: Tricia Edgar
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