Cameron High School seniors exploring pumpkin physics

A class of seniors in advanced physics at Cameron High School are making the most of everything fall has to offer, but in a educational setting. Launching pumpkins and making calculations.
Published: Nov. 3, 2021 at 5:35 AM CDT
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CAMERON, Wis. (WEAU) -Who says pumpkins are just for carving?

One Barron County high school is taking the orange giants from the patch to the classroom.

“3, 2, 1 DROP,” calls Brent Whittenberger, Cameron High School physics teacher. “That one smashed.”

The physics of pumpkin dropping and throwing, Cameron High School’s senior physics class is putting it to the test from the rooftop to the whiteboard.

Tuesday’s lesson using video analysis, will two pumpkins dropped at the same time hit the ground simultaneously?

“This is a perfect example where you can see these things are dropping side by side,” explains Whittenberger. “And they’re going to hit the ground at the same time or really close to the same time.”

“Coming into this class I was like what do I expect?” says senior Brittany Breed.

To expect the unexpected Whittenberger says, alongside a heavy dose of knowledge.

“This is what we do pretty much every day in class, we take real data, we take real stuff and we calculate it,” Whittenberger says.

However it’s not just about calculating a pumpkin dropping he says.

“As fun as that is, or a pumpkin launching through the air…this is something that students can take, this problem solving, this thinking and they can take it to other places [and] that’s what it’s about.”

“He challenges us a lot and we’re always, always learning something new, he does a lot of real life examples and I think that’s what makes it fun for us,” says senior Tanner Gerber.

“Dropping faster and faster and we call that,” Whittenberger asks the class. “Acceleration there you go.”

“You get to know your classmates so well and we all have to work together to achieve a common goal,” says Breed.

A goal worth writing home about.

“Ooo, that one didn’t even break, pumpkin lives to see another day,” says Gerber.

And stay tuned as we endure our first measurable snow fall, the Cameron High School seniors will be taking their talents to the sled hill for another day in the lab.

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