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75-foot pumpkin drop: FOR SCIENCE (and fun)

Posted at 7:38 PM, Oct 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-31 11:15:06-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — The Colorado Springs School (CSS) has partnered with the fire department (CSFD) in order to host a pumpkin drop of epic proportions that serves to further education through the practice of engineering principles.

Each pumpkin is equipped with a student-built 'crash-safety pod' before being hoisted to a height of 75 feet above the school's parking lot and dropped; students then discover whether or not their engineering projects will hold up when the pumpkin meets asphalt.

Students have been provided with the same pod construction materials including one cardboard box, a spool of nylon string, one roll each of box and duct tape, and an optional choice of either a tarp or a vintage decommissioned 1970s US Air Force parachute.
CSS Press Release

Students are also allowed to incorporate any/all recycled materials into their builds in order to protect their autumnal cargo.

This singular fall event is actually part of a larger, day-long set of activities dubbed X-STREAM Day; the programming aims to provide "hands-on STEAM-themed events (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) for all grade levels."

Teaching staff and students will participate in Halloween-themed art classes, science experiments, physical activities, and more throughout the day.

According to CSS, The Great Pumpkin Drop and other experiential learning activities have and continue to serve as the educational cornerstone for students pre-k through grade 12.

“Students are thinking critically about what they would do and sharing their ideas with the class - like scientists or NASA engineers do when they design how they are going to slow down a rover or a landing,” said CSS’s Lower School Director Nathan J. Mylin and event organizer. “This is very much experiential education in action. It also dovetails with what we are doing in our science curriculum to make sure all students understand the Engineering Design Process. There’s a lot of excitement to see if what they invented works.”

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