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Montana Tech students blow up pumpkins in the name of science

Posted at 6:34 AM, Oct 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-27 12:21:03-04

BUTTE — Blowing up pumpkins is not only fun, it’s science.

A group of students at Montana Tech proved it by showing students at West Elementary in Butte that mixing a little chemistry with a jack-o’-lantern leads to big thrills.

West Elementary student Justin Garcia understood the science.

“I make chemical reactions go boooooom!,” said the 9-year-old Garcia.

That’s the kind of enthusiasm the Tech students like to see.

“It just seems to be a real hit, the kids love it, so anything to grab their attention is what we strive for,” said Montana Tech student Emily Vincent.

And there is real science behind blowing up pumpkins.

“Put a little bit of this calcium carbide in the water bottle cap and if you dump just a little bit of water on it, it makes that reaction from the gas, so when you add the heat from the lighter, that’s what causes the explosion enough to push the face of the pumpkin out,” said Vincent.

Garcia added, “I thought it was pretty cool because, usually, you can do this at home and it’s just cool to be because I like seeing things blow up.”

“I loved it and I want to be a scientist now,” said 9-year-old Adalyn Slatter.

When asked if she wanted to be a scientist just to blow things up?

“No, I want to find a cure to diseases,” she said.

I asked if students at Tech sitting around a lab and just think, "What can we blow up?".

“Sometimes,” said Montana Tech student Katelynn Larson.

If I’d have known that I wouldn’t have gone into liberal arts. I thought I had to do a lot of math.

“Nope. Well, a little bit, but science is a lot of fun anyway,” said Larson.