What does it take to keep a pumpkin intact despite sustaining a drop from the roof of the school? That’s what students in Franklin Elementary School’s fifth- and sixth-grade classes were hoping to discover Oct. 28 on the “Great Pumpkin Drop.”
Using the engineering design process – ask, imagine, plan, create and improve – teams were tasked with creating protection around a pumpkin that would ultimately be dropped two stories from the top of the school to the ground. The success of each team or individual came down to whether their pumpkin made it safely to the ground without smashing or cracking.
“Students thought about what it would take to protect a pumpkin from a fall and then shared their ideas like scientists do to decide which design they want to go with as a team” explained LeeAnn Shreve, fifth- and sixth- grade science teacher at FES. “It’s what NASA engineers do when they design how they are going to slow down a rover or a landing.”
“It was amazing experience for our students in kindergarten through sixth grade to watch,” Barbara Whitecotton, FES principal said. “This activity will encourage our fifth- and sixth-grade students to want to do more in science. The hands-on experience allowed them all to participate equally in the event. We are already looking forward to next year’s ‘Great Pumpkin Drop’ to see how what the students learned will improve their projects in 2023.”
Two teams out of 34 were successful in protecting their pumpkins: Team Pumpkin Power – Kya Brogan, Paige Errington, Lainey Simmons and Makynna Whetzel and Team Smashers – Remi George, Carmella Paugh and Journey Rowe.
“We are very thankful to the parents and our community for their donations of pumpkins, boxes and supplies to make this event a reality,” Shreve commented
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