Davies High School Students Use their Gourds to Learn Physics

It’s the third annual Pumpkin Launch at Davies High School.

Students are launching pumpkins in order to learn more about physics.

Launching a pumpkin in the air can be fun but there is also a lot of science behind getting the most from their pumpkin chuckers.

“They’re launching 10 — or eight to 10 pound pumpkins at least eight meters. They’ve been building this for about three and a half weeks and today,” said Shawn Carney, teacher at Davies High School.

By recording time and distance, students can figure out the physics of how their pumpkins flew through the air.

“You can calculate the launch velocity, as well as the maximum height the objects will be reaching,” said Carney.

Most students enjoyed building their launchers.

“This gave me and my family a reason to throw pumpkins, and I am happy with that. That’s all there is to it,” said student Warren Wilke.

“Yeah, it was fun like creating it and seeing it go. All of the other stuff it was a little pain … yeah …,” said student Abby Likness.

While having a blast launching pumpkins into orbit, students learned some valuable skills along the way.

“So the goal is to make sure that the students first of all can work with their equations and the physics to understand projectile motion,” said Carney. “But also to implement their 21st century skills that we’re working on in the district, which are communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking.”

Even though some machines didn’t work as designed, all the students agreed that they had a blast launching their pumpkins high into the sky.

Students in four different class periods created ten pumpkin chuckers.

The event record for the longest–ever chuck is 223 feet.

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