September 18, 2014
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Calculating the weight
Jennifer Rodrigues

Mary Steinkamp’s fifth grade class at John Brown Francis Elementary School was the winning class in the Guess The Weight of The Great Pumpkin contest. School custodian Wayne Anderson, an amateur farmer, grew a giant pumpkin and brought it into the school last week so each class could work through the problem of figuring out how much it weighed. On Tuesday afternoon, Anderson and Principal Dave Cluff revealed the gourd’s weight at 609 pounds. Steinkamp’s class used a 12-step process to come to an answer of 594 pounds, only 15 pounds off. Fifth grader Mia Sherman explained that her class Googled methods to find the weight of giant pumpkins and selected to use the “Over The Top” method from the Maine Pumpkin Growers Organization. “We measured the circumference, then measured side to side and then end to end,” said Sherman. “Then we added those all together and got 300 inches.” According to a chart from the organization, a measurement of 300 inches is equal to 594 pounds, giving the class their answer. The class planned a report explaining their process to go along with their presentation to Anderson and Cluff.


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