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Pumpkin Drop 2010




Tuesday, October 26th



Purpose:     Build a protective casing around a pumpkin that will prevent it from cracking when dropped from a high structure


Partners:  You may work alone or with a MAXIMUM of 2 other people (in other words, a group of 3).  Special Permission is necessary for a group of 4.  (I need to know well in advance of the day that you have a group of 4).  You may work with students in another class (regular or AP physics).


  • Pumpkin must be at least 80 cm in circumference and must be a REAL pumpkin – no artificial pumpkins allowed!!!!!!!!!!!!.  Any pumpkin smaller than this will be disqualified from the competition. 

  • Pumpkin can be encased and protected in almost anything that will prevent it from cracking or smashing upon impact.  Your only restriction is NO STYROFOAM MAY BE USED IN PACKAGING. NO STYROFOAM PEANUTS, NO STYROFOAM PERIOD!!!!!!!!!!

  • Your Name/Period must be marked on the Pumpkin and on the box!


  •   25 points   Pumpkin is completely intact (and ready for carving)

  •   23  points   Pumpkin is cracked (but ready for pie)

  •   20  points   Pumpkin is smashed and its seeds are out of its shell (ready for stew)


What have they done in year’s past?

  • Fill a tub (or a trash can) full of water and float in the pumpkin – GREAT SPLASH!

  • Large Rubber Balls surround the pumpkin so it lands like the Martian Rover.

  • Parachutes

  • Pillows – lots of pillows – But be forewarned, the ground gets messy and wet, so don’t use grandma’s favorite pillow!

  • Sponges



Prizes will be awarded in three categories :


1.  Most creative design (as voted by students).  The pumpkin doesn’t have to “survive” impact to win in this category.  (10 points extra credit)


2.  Person who comes closest to predicting the actual height of the scissors lift by using physics formulas.  You must show your work before I will enter you in the contest. (10 points extra credit)


Each person is eligible to win in only ONE of the two categories.




You will be deducted 50% if you fail to clean up your pumpkin mess on drop day.  You and your partner are responsible for throwing away all trash associated with your pumpkin.     




H E Y !   M R .  W I L S O N 

Website by Duncan Wilson

Page last updated January 07, 2012

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