USU engineers launching pumpkins Saturday

Photo courtesy ASME

NORTH LOGAN – Pumpkins will fly this Saturday morning, and the public is invited to come out and watch.

The USU chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) is hosting its fourth annual pumpkin toss Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Elk Ridge Park. The pumpkins will be launched from several different trebuchets, a type of catapult used in the Middle Ages.

USU ASME President Orrin Pope said the competition is marketed mainly toward students, but anyone can participate as long as the trebuchet meets the safety criteria.

“We started it as a design competition, and that is still what it is,” Pope said. “It is geared toward engineering students, physics students or anyone. We also offer that opportunity to participate in it to any local businesses or really anyone who wants to do it.”

In last year’s pumpkin toss, the 100-yard barrier was broken by multiple teams. In its fourth year, the pumpkins are expected to fly farther than ever.

“The weight limit, as far as the counterweight, was 175 pounds last year, but it is 300 pounds this year,” Pope said. “The potential to go beyond 100 yards is very real this time around.”

Prizes donated by local businesses will be given to the winning teams. The winners will be chosen by judges who rate the trebuchets based on distance, accuracy and design. Candy filled pumpkins will also be launched onto the field. Kids will be able to run onto the field and collect all the candy they can grab.

“It’s not something you can see anytime,” Pope said. “It’s kind of something unique that we’re doing here in Logan. It’s not only a way to support Utah State University and the College of Engineering, but also to get the younger generation interested in engineering and science and physics and mathematics.”

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