GHS Pumpkin Drop

On Tuesday, October 31st, 2017 the GHS Engineering/Technology Department hosted the ninth annual Pumpkin Drop at Goshen High School.

Engineering classes from GHS and Fairfield competed to see who could successfully build a vehicle capable of sustaining a 50 foot fall, protecting their passenger (a pumpkin) from injury. The rules and goal of the assignment are below. The Goshen Fire department provided a ladder truck to achieve the 50’ drop height and a championship round 102’ drop height. There were 20 teams of students competing – 12 teams from Goshen and 8 teams from Fairfield.

Surviving the 50’ drop were 6 teams from Goshen and 1 team from Fairfield. Those 7 teams then proceeded to the next round which was the 102’ drop. None of Fairfield’s teams survived that round, while Goshen had 4 of their 6 finalist teams survive.

Loading the enclosures with the pumpkins inside.

Dropping the enclosure (this is from 50′).

Checking to see if the pumpkin survived.

The names of the 102’ drop winning team members are included below:

  • Jillian Kissinger, Brockton Yoder, Steven Worlds & Autumn Bowers
  • Diego Garcia, Diego Torrejon, Deshawn Brown, & Nate Olvera
  • Connor Brandenberger, Ryan Dubois, Jordan Horn & Josh Haimes
  • Jason Holmes, Tyler Chalk & Benjamin Nichols


The goal of the pumpkin drop competition is to design an enclosure or apparatus to protect a pumpkin from damage when dropped from the bucket of a fire truck 50 feet high. Entries that survive the 50 foot fall will then be dropped from the maximum height of 80-100 feet.


  • Pumpkin must be at least 10 inches in diameter or larger and must be orange in color.
  • Pumpkin and protective structure weight is limited to 50 pounds.
  • The pumpkin container can have dimensions no greater than 20x20x30 inches.
  • The inside of the pumpkin may not be altered. (no freezing or adding chemicals)
  • Pumpkins must free fall (no bungee cords).
  • No Styrofoam peanuts or other small non-biodegradable packing fillers are allowed.
  • No hard materials: no wood, metal, PVC pipe or glass is allowed for the exterior of the container. Soft garbage cans are acceptable.
  • No liquids are allowed.
  • No electrical sources are allowed.
  • Package must be designed so that the pumpkin can be removed by the ground crew within 30 seconds after hitting the ground.
  • Protective structure around the pumpkin must be designed with public safety and cleanup in mind. Pumpkin enclosures that might splatter fragments or liquids toward the viewing audience are not allowed.
  • Any entries that employ parachutes must be designed so that the parachute is dropped at the same time as the pumpkin or prior to the pumpkin, NOT after.
  • The judges will have the final say on whether entries are viewed as safe to be dropped. Judges will disqualify entries with heavy, sharp, and/or protruding metal parts. All decisions by judges are final.
  • To keep the drops moving efficiently, someone from the team MUST remain with the pumpkin at all times.

Ed Ernstes from WBST News was there to cover the Pumpkin Drop. He will air the story at around 6:15-6:20 this evening on WSBT News.

Thank you to Jen Yoder, Industrial Technology teacher, who coordinated the logistics of the Pumpkin Drop, and to the City of Goshen for the use of the fire truck and the cooperation of the firefighters. What a great opportunity for students to put their design ideas to the test!