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Easy Pumpkin Drop STEM Challenge for Primary Students

Not all pumpkin STEM activities have to be done indoors. For young kids, mixing movement with other parts of STEM learning helps them not only love STEM more, but also helps them remember the theory behind the activity much better than if they were sitting in a classroom with worksheets. That is why the STEAMsational team created this pumpkin drop STEM challenge for kids from preschool through first grade.

In this activity, students will learn how to carry pumpkins across distances using spoons, spatulas, and other tools to keep their pumpkins from falling to the ground and damaging the pumpkins.

It’s a great way to mix creative thinking, innovation, movement, and festive fun all in one!

In the pumpkin drop challenge, students will learn how to carry pumpkins across distances using spoons, spatulas, and other tools to keep their pumpkins from falling to the ground and damaging the pumpkins.

It's a great way to mix creative thinking, innovation, movement, and festive fun all in one!

In this practical exercise, students will transport pumpkins across various distances using tools like spoons, spatulas, and more.

This activity boosts students’ coordination and balance skills as they navigate the challenge of moving pumpkins without mishaps.

The Pumpkin Drop STEM Challenge for Early Learners

Through the pumpkin drop STEM activity, students will actively apply their problem-solving abilities and creativity.

Primary students will have the opportunity to brainstorm innovative strategies for the transportation of pumpkins and learn how to work as a team.

Here is what you need to know before using this pumpkin drop STEM challenge in your own classroom!

STEM Discussion Topics for the Pumpkin Drop Challenge

Aside from learning about gravity and selecting the best tool for a task, there are many other STEM concepts that you can add to the pumpkin drop experiment to make it even more educational.

Math Topics

Have your students measure the height from which the pumpkins are dropped, the time it takes for them to fall, and the distance they travel.

Encourage your students to analyze the data and draw conclusions about gravity, acceleration, and the pumpkins’ trajectories.

If you are doing the pumpkin drop with older students, have them apply mathematical concepts like probability and statistics to predict where the pumpkins might land and create a scatterplot to analyze the results.

Engineering Topics

As an additional STEM challenge, you can have your students design and build containers or structures to protect the pumpkins during the drop. This introduces concepts of engineering, structural integrity, and material science.

pumpkin drop stem challenge

Science Topics

Use the pumpkin drop STEM challenge to discuss concepts like gravitational acceleration, air resistance, and terminal velocity.

Discuss the potential and kinetic energy involved in the drop. Calculate the work done by gravity and understand how it converts potential energy into kinetic energy.

Discuss the biodegradability of pumpkins and how they can be repurposed after the drop, introducing concepts of sustainability and composting.

Technology Topics

Allow your students to use technology to help record or analyze data. Allow students to use smartphones or other recording devices to record and analyze the pumpkin’s motion data during the drop.

fall stem challenge cards

Use our fall STEM challenge cards as further inspiration for your fall STEM activities!

STEM Teaching Resources

These teaching resources will make your STEM classroom more fun and rewarding for your students!

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Supplies Needed for the Pumpkin Drop STEM Challenge

Here is what you will need to do your own pumpkin drop STEM activity with your students.

pumpkin drop supplies

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Fun Facts about the Pumpkin Drop Experiment

The pumkin drop stem challenge is a fantastic way to incorporate STEM concepts, making it a valuable learning experience for students.

The pumpkin drop STEM challenge can also promote friendly competition and collaboration, encouraging teamwork and problem-solving with student groups.

Some schools incorporate a pumpkin drop into their fall and Halloween celebrations and make it an annual activity for the whole school and community to experience.

As we introduce you to the heart-pounding Thrilling Pumpkin Drop Challenge, buckle up for the trip of a lifetime!

Some pumpkin drop STEM challenges attempt to break records for the longest pumpkin drop, the most creative design, or other unique categories.

The outcome of each pumpkin drop can vary greatly, depending on factors like the pumpkin’s weight, design of protective structures, and the height of the drop.

A pumpkin drop is also easily adapted to suit different age groups and educational abilities, making it inclusive and accessible to a wide range of students.

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More Pumpkin STEM Activities to Try

You may also like these other resources to make fall learning fun when you’re done with the pumpkin drop STEM challenge.

Pumpkin Books for Kids

Here are some pumpkin science books that you can use alongside any pumpkin STEM activity in the classroom!

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Pumpkin Jack

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Pumpkin Life Cycles

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From Seed to Pumpkin

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It’s a Fruit, It’s a Vegetable, It’s a Pumpkin

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Pumpkin History

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Rotten Pumpkin

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The Pumpkin Patch

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Seed Sprout Grow

Pumpkin Drop Activity Lesson Plan

By combining your pumpkin drop activiy with STEM extensions, both students and teachers can enjoy a dynamic learning experience that fosters critical thinking, creativity, and a deeper understanding of fundamental STEM principles.

fall stem challenge cards

You can use this lesson plan as-is from a phone or tablet, or print out the lesson plan below for easy use in any learning environment!

pumpkin drop stem challenge

How to do the Pumpkin Drop Challenge

Students will have a blast doing this fun pumpkin drop STEM challenge! Preschoolers, kindergarten, and first grade students will enjoy this hands-on STEM activity while getting outdoors in the fall sunshine.


  • Mini pumpkins
  • Large spoons or other transportation devices
  • Sticks or Cones—anything to make an obstacle course or starting line
  • Recording equipment (optional)
  • Stopwatch
  • STEM journal or worksheet
  • Craft supplies to protect the pumpkins (optional)


  1. Gather enough mini pumpkins and spoons for the number of people that want to race. If you have a large enough group, you could make teams!
    pumpkin drop supplies
  2. You can use anything to mark a “start” and “finish.” You can make your race be a straight line, or get creative and make obstacles.
    IMG 2722 scaled
  3. To play, balance a mini pumpkin on your spoon, and race around the course. If your mini pumpkin falls off, stop where you are, pick it up, and put it back on your spoon to start again. 
    IMG 2711 jpg scaled


Make the activity more challenging by adding in more STEM elements.

Protect the pumpkins with craft supplies and see which pumpkin can sustain a drop from the highest fall.

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STEM kits and hands-on materials, such as robotics kits or science experiment sets, can make teaching STEM more engaging for students.

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