Many Seeds: Estimating Hidden Seeds

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In this activity, learners will estimate how many seeds are in a fruit or vegetable, then count to find out. The result: mix estimation with healthy eating. Vary the level of difficulty by using different foods: for younger learners, choose something with up to about 15 seeds inside (e.g. apples, snow peas); for a medium level of difficulty, try melon slices or cucumbers; for more challenge, use pomegranates or mini-pumpkins. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 14

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Seeded fruits or vegetables (mini-pumpkins, apples, or a variety): 1 per pair
  • Easy: Up to 15 seeds (e.g., apples, snow peas)
  • Medium: Up to 50 seeds (e.g., slice of melon or cucumber)
  • Hard: More than 50 seeds (e.g., mini-pumpkins or pomegranates)
  • Supplies for scooping and arranging seeds (cups and spoons, newspapers)
  • Knife


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
  • Mathematics
    • Algebra
      • Patterns
    • Number and Operations
      • Number Systems
      • Operations
    • Reasoning and Proof
    • Representation
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Problem Solving
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking
  • Gardening


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Mixing in Math


  • , © 2010, TERC, Inc., MA., 2010

Funding Source:

  • NSF, ESI-0406675 and DRL-0713537