Gourds sailed across the sky launched from giant trebuchets, catapults and other homemade contraptions in the annual pumpkin-flinging event on campus. Of the 14 teams competing in the Nov. 7 Pumpkin Launch, only three teams hit medieval-themed targets of castles and crowns to rack up winning points. One of the top teams was Cal State Fullerton’s Society of Women Engineers, which placed third with their elephant-themed, slingshot-style launcher.
“What we aim for is accuracy and to hit the closet targets as many times as possible,” said civil engineering student Evelyn Chang of the team’s proven strategy. Of the last five competitions, the all-female Titan team has placed four times, including winning the 2013 competition.
Thousands — over 8,000 registered — flocked to campus to watch gourds soar from innovative launching devices, built by CSUF engineering students, as well as local school, college and community teams. The crowd roared in collective sighs of disappointment as gourds missed intended targets and splattered into pieces on the ground — then cheered wildly when a pumpkin hit its mark. Winning the first-place perpetual Pumpkin Launch trophy was Medieval Mayhem, a local family team. Finishing in second-place was the Tech Club at Valadez Middle School Academy in Placentia, which built a towering green dragon-inspired launcher. CSUF’s College of Engineering and Computer Science and Discovery Cube OC & LA partnered to present the eighth annual event to help fuel interest in engineering and science careers.