Nov. 3, 2017

Pumpkin Drop

A LESSON IN PHYSICS — Students at Francis W. Parker Montessori School 56 check to see how their pumpkin fared after being dropped from 30 feet by an Indianapolis Power & Light bucket truck. For the annual school pumpkin drop, students filled cardboard boxes with various materials to determine what would provide the best protection. 

“This is the most fun day of the year!” said Principal Christine Rembert of Francis W. Parker Montessori School 56.

Outside near the playground she stood surrounded by hundreds of students who had each worked hard in preparation for the school’s annual “Pumpkin Drop.” The event would not be possible without help from Indianapolis Power & Light – one of Indianapolis Public Schools’ most committed community partners.

On Oct. 28, students in Grades Pre-K—8 were challenged to design a cardboard box filled with materials that could cushion a pumpkin’s fall from the top of an IPL bucket truck! This exercise was a fun, educational opportunity for scholars to learn about the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (better known as STEM). In particular, they focused on Newton’s work-energy principals while designing the biodegradable cushions that would hopefully keep their pumpkins safe as they dropped from more than 30 feet.

The boxes were filled with creative materials such as marshmallows, shredded paper, woodchips, dirt and even popcorn! Each time IPL crew members ascended high into the air with a boxed pumpkin, students giggled with anticipation. A brief countdown alerted students to pay attention and they took turns lining up in preparation to quickly tear open the box and reveal their pumpkin’s fate.

Mr. Geoff Davis’ 5th- and 6th-grade teams came in first place and Mrs. Angela Ruiz’s 1-2-3’s captured second place. Third place went to Mr. Ryan Gadberry’s 4-5’s.

Congratulations to all the students who participated and thanks again to Indianapolis Power & Light for providing the bucket truck that made this activity possible!