Pumpkin Drop celebrates physics

Club’s annual event highlights major science discoveries

SYDNEY BROWN, Evergreen reporter

The Physics and Astronomy Club is honoring physics with its annual Pumpkin Drop from the top of Webster Physical Science building.

The club worked to collect pumpkins from locally-sourced stores and donators within Pullman, said President Jack Lambert, a senior astrophysics major.

The club waits until after Halloween when families have little use for their pumpkins and volunteer them to the Physics and Astronomy department’s drop, Lambert said.

“People want to give to this event because it just objectively fun to watch a pumpkin explode once it hits the pavement,” Lambert said.

Before the actual drop, pumpkins will be available for attendees to paint them however they would like. Some of the club members are also involved in decorating the pumpkins, Lambert said.

“We try to bring more awareness into major scientific discoveries of this year,” Lambert said. “The Pumpkin Drop is a celebration of science and astronomy in general.”

There was no shortage of scientific milestones this year. NASA recently ended its Cassini mission. According to NASA’s website, Cassini was a probe orbiting Saturn for about 13 years. Many of the pumpkins painted this year will be dedicated to Cassini, Saturn and Saturn’s moons before their drop.

NASA’s Laser Interferometer Gravitation-Wave Observatory, or commonly known as LIGO, detected gravitational waves back in early 2016, according to NASA’s website. On Oct. 21, the first light from this wave was detected.

These types of scientific discoveries are important to share with the community while also enjoying Dad’s Weekend, Lambert said.

“People don’t often think physics and astronomy is interesting,” Lambert said, “but this pumpkin drop proves that those subjects are a fun way to look back at the universe we live in.”

The yearly event will also host games, experiments and demos within the science department.

“Ultimately, the most fun part of these experiments is expecting one thing and getting another outcome,” Lambert said. “That is part of what makes people so curious about science.”

The Pumpkin Drop begins at 9 a.m. tomorrow at the Webster Physical Science building.