Pumpkin Challenge

Students Design and Construct Pumpkin Catapults at Middle School

“Running a test! Countdown set to begin! Be prepared to clear the area!” If you happened to enter the Middle School library during recess last Thursday, you most likely entered an active testing area, with hard-working students tinkering on their latest Maker Time creations.

Recess in the library has become a center of ingenuity, perseverance, and friendly competition. Led by Keys Middle School Technology Curriculum Instructional Specialist, Ms. Camodeca, a number of students have been hard at work on the latest Marker Cart Challenge, known as the ‘Pumpkin Chunkin’ Challenge’.

Working individually or in teams of two and three, students were tasked with designing and building a unique device capable of launching a pumpkin into the air. Following a number of specific building guidelines and constructed with Maker Cart objects, students considered three factors when designing their catapult: distance, accuracy, and creativity.

Unleashing their imaginations, students dove into the design process and progressed through a number of testing phases. Throughout the past two weeks, they have continued to fine tune their inventions through an intricate balance of trial and error and problem-solving.

On Monday, the budding student engineers transported their completed devices to the field behind Middle School and participated in a much-anticipated launching celebration. While some catapults were more successful than others in launching a pumpkin further and with greater accuracy, all students learned a great deal from the design, construction, and test process, and came away with new ideas for building even better catapults.

To view a full album of behind-the-scenes photos from the ‘Pumpkin Chunkin’ Challenge,’ click here. Please note that you must be signed into your Keys Vidigami account to access this site.


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