Watch out! Flying pumpkins! - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Watch out! Flying pumpkins!


Winona High School has come up with a great way to launch their physics students into learning.

They call it Pumpkin Chunkin'. It turns out there's a lot of learning involved in propelling a pumpkin over 150 feet.

The pumpkins were flying for most of the day at the Winona High School practice field, and eventually it came down to three teams. It must be a relief to have finals with no papers.

But to get to this stage they had a design contest to come up with the best launchers, which involved several different groups.

"Science students have worked together, a lot of our FFA students, all of our agricultural students. It's been a grand time working together," said Winona High School Principal Darin Jolly.

The math department was also involved with trajectory and tension, which came from surgical tubing. Physics Teacher Chelsea Dobbs came up with the whole idea and made sure things would be safe. Two designs were built, and then the teams came up with slings.

But only three could make the finals: The Pumpkin Slayers, Chunkologists and the Extreme Pumpkin Bolters. The Bolters Kyle Boyd, the shooter, has done well today.

"I shot 181. The leader right now is 194. I got my cleats on so I get extra grip," Kyle said.

So the Bolters have the gear.

"So what did you make your sling out of?" I asked Kyle.

"It's actually a net that goes in the back of a mini-van behind the seat," He replied.

 "So how do you think you're going to do here?" I asked Kyle.

"Oh I'm going to win. I already know I'm going to win," he answered.

 Can you tell he's on the football team?

One at a time they helmet up for launch. The helmets were a late safety addition after one pumpkin slung back into the shooter's chest.

First up: Chunkologists, second were the Pumpkinslayers, and Extreme Pumpkin Bolters went last.

The Chunkologists launched 150' 4", the Pumpkin Slayers went 160', and the Extreme Pumpkin Bolters at 165' 8".

"I told you I was going to win," Kyle said.

Yep; definitely a football player, and next year he could be practicing in a pumpkin patch.

This was the first year for the educational competition, and the whole district showed up to watch the finals.

There are always plenty of extra pumpkins in the fall, so you can bet this one will be a keeper.

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