Sweet Pumpkin Chunkin STEM Challenge


The annual Pike County Fair is in 2 days and the Pumpkin Chunkin catapult has broken! Fair officials need to build another in time for the favored Pumpkin Chunkin competition. Can you use the given supplies to create a catapult that will chunk a candy pumpkin?

On October 26th, all SJA remote and in-person students created a catapult to launch a candy pumpkin! Students in grades PreK 4 through 5th Grade were judged on how far the contraption launched the candy pumpkin, while middle school grades were judged on hitting a target. 

Students followed the Engineering Design Process to research, create, and test their catapults.

All grades answered questions in their STEM journals. Here is a sample of them:

     What materials work best to increase the distance a pumpkin is catapulted?      

     How will you be sure your catapult will launch the pumpkin the farthest?      

     What possible problems could come up during construction?

     How can we design a catapult to increase the distance a pumpkin is launched? 

     What types of forces may FOR us? Which forces may work AGAINST us?

     What about your design worked well?

     Which challenge did your catapult meet best: accuracy or distance? EXPLAIN your reasoning.

     What was good about your catapult and why?

     What would you change about your catapult and why?


PreK:  Vivian Peak (15.2 cm)

K:  Charlotte Gibson-Bey (6.7 meters)

Grade 1:  Austin Ney (6.8 meters)

Grade 2: Brandon Butler (8.8 meters)

Grade 3: Zoe Garman (8.7 meters)

Grade 4:  Erin Labbe (1.69 meters)

Grade 5:  Emeline Oliver  (6.21 meters)

Grade 6: Grace Ferry (32 points)

Grade 7: Brendon Cronin (8 points)

Grade 8: Caroline Oliver (13 points)