Sunday, September 13, 2009

Attempting to Make a Pumpkin Vine Flute - A Weekly Unplugged Project

This weeks Unplugged Project is sound, so the boys and I spent a little time yesterday, trying to make sounds with a pumpkin vine. More specifically, we tried to make a pumpkin vine flute, or maybe ours was a fife. Anyway, I say tried, because up to the point of my writing this, we have yet to make a successful flute. However, according to the American Boys Handy Book by Daniel Carter Beard, where we found the idea, it is possible to achieve success by continuing to try different pieces of pumpkin vine.

We tried two.

We cut them according to the directions, which you can view here, at Google Books. The flutes are on page 163.

The boys tried blowing into them, both on the end, and the side, but didn't manage to make a sound.

We did discover however, that pumpkin vines are hollow, which was interesting to the boys. They are also very prickly, which makes them dangerous musical instruments. And, they smell really bad - not at all like pumpkins.

While we were working with our pumpkin vines, my husband was carrying out his own set of sound experiments, answering the question, "What does it mean when you hear chomping sounds coming from your barbecue?"

The answer, he discovered is, "A small rodent is chewing up the inside of your barbecue cover, to use as material for building a nest inside of the grill."

This produced oohs, and awes from the the children, and an altogether different sound from me.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Yelli said...

What a neat project. I have always wondered about pumpkin vines flutes. Thanks for the stink warning. I am also glad to see your hubby got in on the action! LOL!

Mom Unplugged said...

It sounds like you learned a lot about pumpkin vines even if the flute never worked as planned. I'm glad I am not the only one who's projects go awry sometimes! Funny about the mouse nest. Good thing you found it before your next cookout! As always, thanks for joining in!