CSU, Chico Physics Department to Host (Pumpkin) Smashing Good Time on Halloween

Date: 10-30-2017

CONTACT: Sean Murphy, Public Affairs
TEL: 530-898-6492
Nick Nelson, Department of Physics
TEL: 530-898-3415

California State University, Chico is ready to educate local elementary school students about gravity. And it could get messy.

The Society of Physics Students and the Department of Physics will host the 30th annual Pumpkin Drop outside of Butte Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 31, at noon.

Combining comedy and education, physics students will dress up as famous physicists from the past to demonstrate how gravity works, employing a time-honored favorite of dropping pumpkins from tall heights to witness large splats.

This annual tradition attracts hundreds of elementary school students from dozens of schools to the University campus. This year is no different, as schools from as far away as Redding and Yuba City have inquired about this year’s Pumpkin Drop.

Event coordinator and assistant professor of physics Nick Nelson said that anyone who stops to think about gravity finds the phenomenon fascinating, from Sir Issac Newton and his apple to the recipients of this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics—three Americans studying gravity.

“The Pumpkin Drop is a light-hearted way to talk about the mysteries of gravity by smashing a whole lot of pumpkins,” Nelson said. “It’s a Chico State tradition that encourages our physics students to connect with the community and our local schools to connect with physics at Chico State.”

For more information, please contact Nelson at 530-898-3415.


About California State University, Chico

California State University, Chico is the second-oldest campus in the 23-member CSU system, the nation’s largest public university system. Founded in 1887, Chico State enrolls approximately 17,500 students and offers more than 230 undergraduate and graduate programs through its seven colleges and five schools. The campus is consistently ranked as one of the best regional public universities in the Western United States, and is the only CSU campus to have earned a favorable rating in all five categories of the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scoreboard, which rates universities on affordability and value. Its mission includes a broad commitment to environmental sustainability, public service and community engagement throughout the 12-county North State region where the campus is located. The University became a federal Hispanic-Serving Institution in 2015.