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Exploding Pumpkins

Physics experiment: a festive mess


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Scenes from last year’s Pumpkin Drop (above). Watch pumpkins explode live at 12:30 p.m. Friday at the Metcalf Science Center, 590 Commonwealth Ave. Photo by Vernon Doucette

What do you get when a gaggle of physics students, faculty, and staff test gravity with more than 30 liquid-filled pumpkins? A mess, yes, but more specifically, the sixth annual Pumpkin Drop.

Friday, students from the College of Arts & Sciences physics department will pitch pumpkins filled with substances from pudding to paint from the roof of the Metcalf Science Center onto the plaza 70 feet below. As well as providing a wickedly good time for pitchers and audience (warning: the pumpkins’ innards can travel as far as 40 feet), it’s also an educational lesson in parabolic trajectory and gravitation.

Prizes will be awarded to participants wearing the most festive Halloween costumes and to the person who correctly guesses the weight of the largest pumpkin to be smashed—last year’s heaviest pumpkin tipped the scales at 66 pounds.

The 6th Annual Pumpkin Drop is on Friday, October 29, at 12:30 p.m., on the plaza of the Metcalf Science Center, 590 Commonwealth Ave. The event is free and open to the public. From 11 to 11:45 a.m., passersby can vote for their favorite costume and guess the weight of the largest pumpkin. Winners will be announced and prizes awarded at noon. Refreshments will be served after the event in the Metcalf first floor lounge.

Robin Berghaus can be reached at berghaus@bu.edu.


One Comment on Exploding Pumpkins

  • Anonymous on 10.28.2010 at 9:33 am


    Passersby can enter the contest, not vote. Sorry for the confusion!

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