Pumpkin drop is a smash with students

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The annual Pumpkin Drop took place on Panzer Kaserne, Oct. 31.

Physics students from Stuttgart High School and Stuttgart Elementary School worked together on a project to prevent a pumpkin from smashing when plummeting several meters to the ground. With support from the U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart Fire Department, pumpkins were launched from the aerial ladder truck to see who’s would survive the fall.

Pumpkin Drop 2017
Children cheered at the top of their lungs as the pumpkins tumbled through the air. Would it break into a million, mushy pieces or survive a fall of 90 feet?

The Pumpkin Drop took place under the direction of SHS physics teacher Matthew Burkman and his physics class. Students gathered in front of the schools to watch decorated boxes plummet to the ground.

The 800 students watching sang songs or chanted as boxes were hoisted into the 70 to 90 feet high.

“The pumpkin drop is different this year, because the pumpkin is falling with the box instead of falling into a box,” said SES fourth grader Abby Wallace. “We used materials like a pillow taped to the side (of the box), a towel, two math textbooks and plastic bags (to cushion the pumpkin).”

Classes decorated their own boxes and competed to see who had the most well-protected pumpkin.

Burkman said the pumpkin drop was “Fun! The physics kids worked really hard to make this happen.”

The pumpkin drop heightened the spirits of  the students and kick-started Halloween night. It has been a tradition for the schools in the Stuttgart area for more than twenty years.

(Editor’s note: the “Pumpkin Drop 2017” portion of this story was contributed by SHS journalism students Sara Kitchin and Madison Higgins.)