Friday, October 30, 2009

Pumpkin Physics

With Halloween just a day away, many pumpkins are being massacred as part of physics demonstrations.

At the Chico State University, they had a annual pumpkin drop.

The Society of Physics Students at Chico State University held its 22nd annual Pumpkin Drop in front of Butte Hall Thursday. Students portray historical characters such as Einstein, Aristotle, Galileo, Newton and Igor as they explain and illustrate the theory of gravity to a large crowd of students.

Out in Utah, the Roy Junior High School has homemade trebuchets to launch projectile pumpkins.

As pumpkins were loaded into homemade trebuchets, launched into the air, and obliterated by the earth, students shivered in their Viking helmets and Scottish kilts and worried about their grades.

Trebuchets, physics, medieval warfare and pumpkins all contributed to a memorable learning experience for a trio of ninth-grade physics classes at Roy Junior High School.

The Mundelein High School in Illinois had "Peter" the catapult to toss the pumpkins.

Joining the fun this year are students from Mundelein High School, who along with physics instructor Michael Hickey and student teacher Mark Michalski created "Peter" the catapult (named after the nursery rhyme, "Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater"). Painted bright red for Mundelein High, Peter spans nearly 10 feet across. Watch the pumpkins soar after being loaded onto Peter and launched into the air.



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