Budding Biologists Try Hand at Pumpkin Carving

Cassandra "Cassie" Bertele poses with a pumpkin at the College of Southern Maryland's first-ever Biology-Themed Pumpkin Carving Contest held at the Leonardtown Campus.

CSM Leonardtown Campus Holds First-Ever Contest

Are they out of their gourds in the biology department at the College of Southern Maryland Leonardtown Campus? Or simply carving out a niche for the budding biologist- wannabe-artists?

In case you didn’t get enough tricks or treat this Halloween, science meets art in the College of Southern Maryland’s first-ever Biology-Themed Pumpkin Carving Contest. The first, yes. But organizers are hoping it’s not the last. Biology staff members on the Leonardtown Campus put out the call for carved Cucurbita pepo, but there was a catch. They had to have a biology theme.

CSM student Catherine Gonzalez worked with her biology lab partners on one of the “spine-tingling” entries. The students carved a vertebral column – the cervical, thoracic, lumbar and sacral curves – using four pumpkins. Gonzalez said they did the carvings for extra credit in class. “But it was good. I’m glad we got to do it together. We got to know each other better. It was fun,” she said.

Deanna Goddard, another student in CSM biology professor Tracey Stuller’s class, worked alone on her pumpkin entry. She said she scanned the Internet for ideas before settling on carving a rib cage.

Twenty-seven entries were turned in Monday.

The pumpkins will remain on display through Wednesday, Nov. 2, at the Leonardtown Campus Building B lobby.

Carvers were urged to be creative, tasteful and relate the carving to biology or anatomy. Pumpkins had to be carved, not painted. The contest was open to both students and college employees.

“Be creative and have fun,” Stuller said when the call went out for entries.

Students, faculty and staff had the opportunity to vote on their favorite pumpkin.