Apples come in many sizes, colors and taste consistencies. Children who have wondered about the seeds of an apple should consider a science experiment to determine which apples have the most seeds. Apples have a total of five seed pockets. Different kinds of apples will have different numbers of seeds. You can also experiment with other aspects of apple seeds.

## Apple Comparison

Involve the class in a science project to determine which apple in your area has the most seeds. Have each student in the class bring an apple to school on a given day. Ask the children what kind of apples they brought and write the varieties down on the blackboard or whiteboard. The children can guess how many seeds are in the apples and if they believe that all the apples will have the same number. At a work table, cut each kind of apple in half and ask volunteers to count the number of seeds in the apple. Have another student write the number down on the chart on the board. Evaluate the results at the end and compare them with what the students guessed earlier.

## Baby to Full Grown

Find a nearby orchard and ask the farmer if you can conduct a science experiment on the apples, and pick one of each variety every few weeks. Cut each kind in half, examine the cross-section and count how many seeds each have from the time the apples are tiny to when they're full grown. Record your findings in a log book and answer the questions, "How many seeds do the apples have at the beginning and at the end?" "Do the apples have fewer seeds at the beginning?" "Which variety has more at first, and which does at the end?"

## Compare Apple Seeds to Other Fruits

Go to the store and choose several fruits to compare to apples. Find some unusual fruits. Record each fruit on a chart and leave spaces for how many of each type of fruit counted and the total number of seeds. Cut each fruit in turn and count the seeds. Put them in a paper cup or other container to keep track. Count several of each fruit to get a better count of seeds. Write down all the data and compare the productivity of the fruits, which is how many seeds each type creates. Divide the number of seeds by the number of pieces of fruit counted for each type. Twenty seeds in five apples would be a productivity total of four per fruit. Ask yourself how apples compare to the other fruits. Which fruit had the most and least seeds? Were there any patterns of production?

## Experiment with Growing

Compare several different varieties of seeds and find the apple that has the most seeds. Then try to grow a tree from the apple seeds that have the most or least number of seeds. Keep several things in mind about seeds. Apple seeds need to dry out and then be stratified before they will germinate. Stratify the seeds by putting them in a container in the refrigerator for about three months. The seeds usually do better when planted in cool soil. Protect the plant from animals. Experiment with stratifying the seeds for different lengths of time and then plant them to see how well they start to grow.

#### References

- University of Illinois Extension: Apples and More
- Education World; An Apple for the Teacher; Cara Bafile; August 2009
- Organic Gardening Tips: How to Grow Apple Trees From Seed
- Mrs. Nelson's Class: Apple Unit
- Science Buddies; How Many Seeds Do Different Types of Fruit Produce?; Sara Agee, Ph.D.; April 2008

#### Photo Credits

- Jeffrey Hamilton/Digital Vision/Getty Images