The Physics of "Punkin Chunkin"

The Guinness world record for pumpkin chucking is 5,545.42 feet by a pneumatic cannon in 2010. Explore the physics behind throwing squash for distance competitions with a video that lists the various competition categories including torsion, catapult, trebuchet, air, and more. The resource also details the physics concepts of gravity and fulcrums, as well as the history of each type of machine.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Challenge class members to create scale models that can throw small marshmallows
  • Debate the ethics of using food in this way when there are many people without enough to eat
Classroom Considerations

  • Preview the video to make sure the language used is appropriate for your classroom
Pros

  • Highly engaging video holds the viewers' attention and often leaves them asking for more details
  • Photographs and diagrams help visually support the concepts
Cons

  • None
Common Core