Menlo News October 20, 2022

Watermelon Lab: What Makes Something Move?

Menlo sixth graders conduct the annual Watermelon Lab experiment with an expected, yet explosive outcome!
6th grade scientists test how many rubber bands it takes to explode a watermelon.

Menlo’s sixth grade science students have been deeply engaged in exploring how energy works as part of their unit on energy.  Watermelon Lab, now in its eighth year at Menlo, is designed to help students find science-based answers to the question “What makes something move?”

“Students share investigation insights and learn vocabulary to describe what they are seeing,” says Sixth Grade Science Teacher Jacqueline Stark. “This lab focuses on how energy can transform and change types—from Potential Energy to Kinetic Energy.” 

Along with anticipation, excitement, and the eventual explosion of melon, the lab requires patience, careful attention to procedure and safety recommendations, and collaboration, a core value in the Middle School’s Habits of Heart and Mind.