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Stuttgart High School physics students host annual pumpkin drop

By George Murphy, Stuttgart HS Journalism Student
STUTTGART | November 23, 2016

Splash Down At Pumpkin drop. Pumpkin survives the watery cushion system in the South Dakota box.
Splash Down At Pumpkin drop. Pumpkin survives the watery cushion system in the South Dakota box. | Photo: Andrew Goodwin-Underwood

Golden brown leaves flutter through the wind; a cool breeze carries a palpable air of anticipation through the crowd of huddled teachers, students, and parents. All eyes focused on a  minuscule speck, high up in the air dangling precariously from an intimidating ladder, manned by the Stuttgart firemen. Until, the moment of anticipation bursts with the release of the object into a free fall.
The leaves settle, the wind dies, and a blanket of silence rests over the astonished spectators for what felt like an eternity, until the cries of defeat resounded from the smashed pumpkin Mr. Thompson lifted from the obliterated box. On October 26, 2016, the annual pumpkin drop was held by Stuttgart High School physics students. Out of the twenty-eight total groups participating in this event, only two had surviving pumpkins. Of these two, Isaac Harper (SHS senior) came out in first, while Zack Watson (SHS senior) gained second and unexpectedly placed ahead of the other twenty-six groups. “How did that work, all I did was add water!” exclaimed Zach Watson.
Many students involved in this two-month project were expecting to fail and see pumpkin remains. Others had high hopes and expectations for the boxes, having constructed their projects with the help of the elementary students. First place Isaac Harper had this to say, “I expected a lot, and thankfully got what I hoped for!”
This event lasted between 11:40 and 14:00, during this time an approximate 56 pumpkins fell to the ground, about two for each box. During these drops, not all the pumpkins lived to see the light of day, ninety-six percent of pumpkins broke with an accuracy rate of about seventy-eight percent. Many students thought the pumpkins smashing in their peer's box to be humorous, until their turn arrived that is, one of those poor souls had this to say, “I thought the pumpkins smashing was funny… until it happened to mine”- Adam Andrews, SHS Junior.
While the Stuttgart High students may not have wanted the pumpkins to break, instead wanting them to live, the Stuttgart Elementary students had an opposite view of the situation, “I want to see more orange balls break”- Kyle, SES 1st grader, said enthusiastically waiting for the next drop.
In the end, as the orange mist settled, the crowd began to disperse, leaving behind the remnants of the day's activities and scars the pumpkins left, leading to an hour of clean up afterward. All in all every teacher, student and parent had a day of excitement ending with happy feelings that the results had been fair, and that everybody gave their best support and effort in this affair.

George Murphy, SHS Junior plans to be an aerospace/civil engineer. George writes to relieve stress in light of his three Advanced Placement classes which include, Language, Physics, and U.S. History.


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