Students compete in a pumpkin chuckin at the Great Downtown Pumpkin Festival

Students compete to see who can fling their pumpkins the furthest.
Students compete to see who can fling their pumpkins the furthest.(KOTA/KEVN)
Published: Sep. 25, 2022 at 8:46 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - To kick off the fall season, families were encouraged to go to the Great Pumpkin Festival. The 14th annual Great Downtown Pumpkin Festival was held on Main Street Square. The festival featured a variety of booths and food trucks that the whole family could enjoy, but that wasn’t the only thing happening downtown.

Across the street at Memorial Park, students competed in the Pumpkin Chuckin, in which competitors were tasked with building catapults in the hopes that their design would fling their pumpkin the farthest. The event is hosted by the South Dakota Mines’ CAMP and encourages students to get interested in STEM in a fun and exciting way.

“Showing the fun side of engineering, encouraging high school students, middle school students that we have here today competing, everyone in the crowd that science, engineering, technology is an exciting fun field to go into, so we can continue bringing new people into the field young and exciting ideas to continue to solve the world’s hardest challenges,” said Amy Hasvold, the CAMP Director with South Dakota Mines.

Six teams were competing in the Pumpkin Chunkin, which included various teams from South Dakota Mines, a team from Douglas High School, and Spearfish Middle School. The team taking home the win was the South Dakota Mine’s Rocker Robotics team with Douglas High School earning second place.

“It feels good, I’m really happy it’s good to know that all the hard work paid off because Rachel, she really pushed us to get stuff done early this year, so we weren’t up until 4 a.m. the night before like we usually are. We actually did a couple of tests throws finished at 5 p.m. yesterday, it was good,” said Dustin Richards, President for the Rocker Robotics team.

The event allowed students to show off their engineering skills while enjoying some friendly competition.