On November 23, 2013, Eugene Maker Space held its first ever punkin’ chunkin’ competition at The Science Factory! It was such a fun event with a fantastic turn out. We had five teams enter the pumpkin chunking contest, with a 6th last minute entry. The last entry was a much smaller machine that threw apples instead of pumpkins. This machine was measured but competed in it’s own “apple class”. It was much smaller than the other chunkers but it was no less impressive, as the results will surely demonstrate. All of the teams put a lot of effort into their machines and it was fantastic to see the different types of machines. There were three trebuchets, a mangonel, and a three armed slingshot. They all performed fantastically.
The competition had three heats. Each team got to fire their chunkers one time per heat. The furthest distance out of all three heats was the one that was counted for the contest results.
Team Low Earth Orbit – 380 Feet
Team Shanker Free Crankers – 233 Feet
Team F=MA – 74 Feet
Team Kerbalnauts – 70 Feet
Team C-Pepo Propulsion – 57 Feet
Team Waffles – 376 Feet
Thank you so much to all the teams! Without you this would not have been so much fun. Another thank you to The Science Factory for hosting the event. And yet another thank you to everyone that volunteered to help out with the event. It wouldn’t have gone as smoothly without you.
Eugene Maker Space will be holding it’s first ever Punkin Chunkin’ contest! If you aren’t familiar with the tradition of punkin chunkin’ then you are in for a treat. The general idea is for teams to build contraptions that can launch pumpkins as far as possible. Whichever team can launch their pumpkins the farthest will reign as champions! A simple Google search for “punkin chunkin” will bring up plenty of information and videos of other contests and designs.
Since we will be holding this event at the Science Factory, and we want to make sure it’s as safe as possible, we will be launching small pumpkins only. These are pumpkins weighing between 1.5lbs and 2lbs. This will help keep the contraption size and energy down to a minimum and hopefully prevent any dangerous mishaps.
Where: The Science Factory front yard
Day: Saturday, November 23rd
Time: 11:00am to 4:00pm (or whenever we are finished!)
You can see the launch zone in the below picture. Contestants will launch from the blue firing line aiming down range to the east. The first red box is the primary launch zone. “The Great Beyond” is further down range and will remain clear in case any contestants are capable of building launchers that can actually chunk that far.
How to enter
You do not have to be a member of Eugene Maker Space to compete. Everyone is allowed to participate! If you would like to sign up to compete, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your team name and the names of your team members.
Now for the official EMS Punkin Chunkin’ rules!
No compressed air/compressed gas devices
Teams must release all energy from their launchers until it is their turn.
You may sign up as an individual or as a team.
Machine must not cross the firing line.
Machines must be ready to fire within 3 minutes.
Each team will get three launches.
If a team loses a pumpkin after launch they may get an one extra try if the team has a backup pumpkin ready to go.
Pumpkins must weigh between 1.5lbs and 2lbs.
Teams provide their own pumpkins.
Pumpkins must remain intact until they hit the ground.
Pumpkins cannot be modified (except for painting).
Teams may paint their pumpkins for decoration.
How to Win
To win the competition you just need to chunk your pumpkin farther than the other teams. That’s it! There will be three heats. Whichever team gets the furthest launched pumpkin out of all three heats will be declared the champions.