It’s pumpkin-chunking time again at Cal State Fullerton, where a field of student and community teams compete using giant trebuchets, catapults and other handcrafted launchers to hurl the gourds at targets, rack up points — vying to be the winner.
About 8,000 are registered to attend the College of Engineering and Computer Science-hosted Pumpkin Launch, set for 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7, on the athletics fields north of Titan Gym. The free, family event is held in partnership with Discovery Cube OC & LA and Future Scientists & Engineers of America.
Five Cal State Fullerton student teams putting engineering and physics concepts to the test are the American Society of Civil Engineers/CalGeo, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, G&G Engineering, National Society of Black Engineers and Society of Women Engineers. Local school, college and community teams also are entered in the competition.
G&G Engineering, a new CSUF student team entering this year’s contest, is building a slingshot-style launcher from scratch.
“Our goal is to make our launcher as accurate as possible to be able to easily aim, hit any target within a 250-foot range — and win,” said team captain and mechanical engineering major Christopher Gutierrez. “We’re looking forward to the thrill of competing.”
The annual event features hands-on activities for children to learn more about engineering and science disciplines and careers. Students like Gutierrez hope to excite the next generation of engineers and scientists.
“I strongly believe engineering and the sciences are in the beginning of their own ‘renaissance’ period. The inventions being created today are remarkable,” said Gutierrez, a senior. “With a foundation in engineering and the sciences — and imagination — anything is possible. Hopefully, the future creator of the ‘Iron Man suit’ will be in the crowd watching the Pumpkin Launch competition — and be inspired.”
Campus and community members planning to attend the event are asked to register online. Saturday parking is free on campus, including the State College Parking Structure off State College Boulevard. For directions and campus map, visit the parking website.
Food will be available for purchase from gourmet food trucks, and attendees may bring lawn chairs to view the Pumpkin Launch.
2013 Winning Team
Cal State Fullerton’s student chapter of the Society of Women Engineers team clinched the first-place prize in the 2013 Pumpkin Launch. To see the 2012 Pumpkin Launch, watch the video.
Debra Cano Ramos