Alma Students “Chunk” Pumpkins
Alma High School students celebrated Halloween with science. Physics students participated in “pumpkin chunkin’” on Wednesday.
“We’re trying to do projectile motion, trying to see how far we can get objects to go a certain distance,” said Dustin Lemly, a junior at Alma High School.
Students launched pumpkins in a parking lot Wednesday afternoon. Three classes came together to form 16 teams.
“I presented them with here’s the goal and you design your own machine to launch the pumpkin,” said Jeana Parker, a physics and chemistry teacher at Alma High School.
Students spent about two days building their machines.
“Whoever launches it the furthest wins,” said Parker.
Some machines were not successful. “Some went backwards, so they didn’t quite make it out of the launch zone,” said Parker.
Other pumpkins made it clear across the parking lot. “Apparently we got the farthest at 17 meters,” said Lemly.
Students enjoyed learning outside the classroom.
“They were able to understand the concepts instead of just reading a word problem and answering it,” said Parker. “This way they’re seeing it.”
“You’re actually walking around putting stuff together, hammering some nails, a lot funner doing it that way,” said Lemly.
The young scientists should be able to calculate the distance, time, and velocity of the pumpkin.