Leaves were not the only objects falling from the sky onto the Glen Dale Elementary School playground Wednesday afternoon. Pumpkins were also plunging to the ground.
Glen Dale Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief II Greg Kibert took 32 different pumpkin filled, student designed containers more than 50 feet in the air via the bucket of an aerial platform ladder truck. Students were eyewitnesses to the demise of several pumpkins, while others survived the descent from high atop the fire truck.
The school’s first-ever Pumpkin Drop was an experiment that helped students explore the concepts of gravity, force and acceleration. The general idea was to have students in third through fifth grades collaborate, plan and design a container that would allow a 13 pound pumpkin to fall from a height of 60 feet without busting open. The project combined problem solving skills with the basic principles of engineering and physics.
The new venture was a fun way for students to see Newton’s laws of motion, principles of air resistance and rules of velocity and potential energy in action. This assignment also helped students understand experiments that help reduce injuries during auto collisions and sports accidents.