Power tools can be used to make some truly amazing carved pumpkins. We use hole saw bits, power drills, dremels, and other items from the tool box to create scary or delightful Halloween decorations. Once the gourd gets the power tool treatment, we introduce motors, LEDs, and decorative elements to allow visitors to truly personalize their creations.
Why We like It
What are the qualities that we value in this activity?
The soft flesh of a pumpkin provides an familiar and easy surface to practice using power tools (possibly for the first time). Each tool has a specific purpose: for example the hole saw works great to create an initial opening, and the dremel allows people to carve delicate and intricate designs. Tools that might be intimidating when paired with a more traditional wood working activity are seen in a new light and the thinking about possible uses for these tools may be expanded.
While some tinkerers may be happy simply decorating their pumpkin, the expanded set of available materials allows for complex goals and opportunities to experiment with new ideas. People can work out the electrical connections required to power LED lights, find out what it takes to make their pumpkin move, or use mylar or other reflective materials to explore intricate light patterns. The different ideas build off each other and the final creation can show the conceptual leaps required along the way.
Goals and approaches build on prior experiences and knowledge
Everyone has carved a pumpkin before, but not many people have used power tools to accomplish their goals or ideas. Participants may think of challenges that they have tried while carving pumpkins in the past but didn’t have the right tools for them; or the expanded palette of implements may broaden their previous conception of jack-o-lantern carving.