Local schools compete in pumpkin drop

Martha Sparks msparks@civitasmedia.com

October 27, 2013

CHARLESTON — Three local schools participated in the recent Capital City Pumpkin Drop held at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston on Thurs., Oct. 17.

Teams from Chapmanville Middle, Logan Middle, and West Chapmanville Elementary were among 26 schools from 11 different counties in West Virginia testing their creativity during the annual event.

The competition asks students to design and build a container that could make a pumpkin safely land from a 65-foot drop. During the day, each team’s project is hoisted on a crane and released onto a targeted drop zone. The containers are judged on accuracy and durability. There are guidelines for the competition, among them is the pumpkins must be a certain size, and the containers cannot weigh more than 35 pounds.

West Chapmanville Principal Doug Barrett says the competition allowed students to apply classroom skills.

“I am very proud of how the students represented our school. They have worked very hard in order to prepare for the day of the event, and they used inventive thinking skills to build their capsules,” Barrett said. “The process makes math and science fun for the students.”

Chapmanville Middle School had three teams of eighth grade students who participated in the event. Selected students were winners from the school’s individual pumpkin drop competition. A sixth grade, seventh grade, and eighth grade team were chosen to represent Logan Middle School, and West Chapmanville Elementary had three teams of fourth graders participate in the drop.

Chapmanville and Logan Middle Schools each had one of its three teams finish with a “surviving pumpkin.” Only 11 teams completed the challenge with their pumpkins intact. Chapmanville Middle School also placed third in the event’s poster competition. West Chapmanville Elementary placed overall in last year’s competition.

The Capital City Pumpkin Drop is sponsored by Bridgemont Community and Technical College.