Lesson Two

Lesson Two focuses on germinating your pumpkin seeds. In this lesson you will:

  • Think about why and how we grow big vegetables

  • Learn about germinating seeds

  • Do a ‘physical coding exercise’

  • Create a class calendar of activities

  • Germinate your own pumpkin seeds

What will you do with your seeds?

Enter the Electric Garden GIANTS gardening competition to grow the biggest pumpkin and the tallest sunflower! Over the next few lessons we will help you get pumpkins and sunflowers planted. You will use the Electric Garden to grow them into GIANTS which you can enter into the competition.

There are five categories in the competition. You can enter any and all of the categories:

  1. Tallest Sunflower
    The tallest sunflower will be decided by the judging panel. Enter by submitting a report that clearly shows the sunflower’s height from the ground to its tallest point, with a scale reference included in the photograph such as a ruler or tape measure. Closing date: 22nd February 2019.

  2. Weirdest Sunflower
    The weirdest sunflower will be decided by popular vote/people’s choice on social media. Enter a photograph that shows your most bizarre sunflower! They will be uploaded to the Electric Garden social media channels for voting by the public. Closing date: 22nd February 2019.

  3. Largest Pumpkin
    The largest pumpkin will be decided by the judging panel. Enter by submitting a report that clearly shows the pumpkin’s circumference (the measurement around its widest point) with a scale reference included in the photograph, such a ruler or tape measure. Closing date: 5th April 2019.

  4. Best Display of Data
    The best display of data will be decided by the judging panel. Enter your school’s final growing report as your submission to the competition. Closing date: 5th April 2019.

  5. Best Dressed Pumpkin
    The best dressed pumpkin will be decided by popular vote/people’s choice on social media. Enter a photograph of your snazzy pumpkin! Closing date: 5th April 2019.

All entries to be submitted through an online portal which will be available 1 February, 2019. Winners will be announced 12th April, 2019.

Why grow big vegetables?

Take a look at the Electric Garden GIANTS competition poster below. Think about the following questions:

  • What might you have to do to grow a GIANT vegetable?

  • What could you learn by growing a GIANT vegetable?

  • What are some of the benefits of growing big vegetables?

 
GIANTS_Competition-top-2.jpg
 

Make a plan

Learn how to germinate pumpkin seeds

Watch the videos below, read the instructions, and take notes on how to germinate pumpkin seeds.

 
 
 
 

Order your instructions

When we write code for a computer, we are giving the computer a set of instructions on how to perform a task. We have to make sure we give the computer the right instructions in the right order, otherwise it would get confused! The same applies to germinating pumpkins seeds.

This is a ‘physical coding activity’. Read through the lines of instructions below. Can you figure out the right instructions in the right order? Be careful, not all of the instructions are necessary!

  1. Find a sealable plastic bag.

  2. Soak the seed in warm water.

  3. Stand up and sing your favourite song.

  4. Place the plastic bag containing the seed in a warm place.

  5. Take a seed out of the packet.

  6. Perform a dance for your seed.

  7. Moisten a wet paper towel.

  8. Place the wet paper towel inside a sealable plastic bag.

  9. Glue a seed to your forehead.

  10. Place the seed inside a wet paper towel and fold it up.

  11. Using a nail file, gently file the edge of of the seed.

  12. Twinkle your fingers over the seed to promote growth.

Create a class calendar

To grow GIANT pumpkins and sunflowers, you will need to plant your seeds at the right time of the year. We have some detailed instructions for you on how to grow pumpkins and grow sunflowers, and a pumpkin lifecycle timeline! Work with your class to create a class calendar outlining when you will do the key tasks to grow your pumpkin. You can use our Printable timeline (PDF) / Printable timeline (.docx) as a starting point. Some of the tasks might be:

  • Germinate the seeds

  • Pot seeds

  • Prepare the vegetable patch

  • Plant the seedlings in the vegetable patch

  • Monitor the Electric Garden sensor as seedlings grow (this task repeats!)

  • Measure seedling growth

  • Write your report/take photographs

  • Email your final report/photographs to us – don’t miss the deadline!

What other tasks can you think of? (Hint: You need to germinate the seeds in order to give them enough time to grow to get to full size, so think about the competition deadline and work backwards.)

Get your seed started

Now that we’ve learned how to germinate pumpkin seeds, ordered the process, and made a calendar, use your notes, the instructions, and the videos, and germinate your pumpkin seeds!