CSU, Chico News

Annual Pumpkin Drop to Entertain, Educate Children Oct. 30

Date: 10-07-2014

Sarah Langford
Public Affairs
Eric Ayars, professor
Department of Physics

California State University, Chico’s Society of Physics Students (SPS) will present the 27th annual Pumpkin Drop Thursday, Oct. 30, at noon on the south side of Butte Hall.

Delighting schoolchildren for decades, the event is a theatrical reenactment of Galileo Galilei’s legendary Tower of Pisa experiment. SPS members in costume explain and demonstrate the Law of Falling Bodies by dropping pumpkins and other assorted fruits and vegetables from the top of Butte Hall. Special guests include Aristotle, Galileo Galilei and Sir Isaac Newton, who will each explain their theories of gravity.

Legend has it that Galileo demonstrated his law of falling bodies by climbing to the top of the Tower of Pisa so that he could drop a large ball and a small ball at the same time. Both balls hit the ground together.

For a grand finale, students will drop pumpkins in time to the cannon blasts of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture.”

For more information, call physics professor and SPS advisor Eric Ayars at 898-6967 or visit the Society of Physics Students on the web at http://phys.csuchico.edu/sps/activities.shtml.