Sergio M. Velazquez, a science teacher at Millennium High School in Goodyear, recently came up with a project he felt students would find irresistible:
Climb the bleachers and drop a pumpkin.
But there was work involved.
Students in teams were required to submit reports, including background.
“The history of pumpkins can date back to early colonial times,” one team wrote. “Pumpkins were once used for removing freckles and curing snake bites.”
Another team wrote about the legend of an Irishman who played a prank on the devil, which saved him from hell. “The devil, still embarrassed about their previous encounter, rejected him from hell and gave him a small ember to guide him through the dark tunnels. The old man took the radish, carved it out, and placed the ember inside to make a lantern, and ever since then every Hallows’ Eve people carved radishes and lit them to keep away the old man’s spirit. Adding:
But, “now in modern day, we use pumpkins and have forgotten the haunting origins of the tradition.”
After the great pumpkin drop, the teacher tasked students to explain the science behind the fun.
“Through this experiment, we will be able to learn how to calculate different equations such as speed, velocity, weight, force and other related variables,” wrote one team.
“We will also be able to learn if our hypothesis, ‘If you drop a pumpkin from 22 (feet) when wrapped with different shock absorbing materials, then it will survive the fall without a single crack’ is correct or not.”
The students measured speed, momentum, velocity and power.
“The hypothesis was incorrect because the pumpkin cracked. When we opened the box the pumpkin had several cracks all over and was spilling juice all over the place.
“Instead of stuffing it with paper, we should have used pillows and blankets.”