Tuesday, September 30, 2014

punkin chunkin

trophy and cash prizes!


some fly high!

some not so much

duct tape rules!

the winning pumpkin launcher made out of trees by the Lumberjacks

high school band drumroll

cleanup contest

Students from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology participated in the annual pumpkin catapult contest in Rapid City on SaturdayPoints were earned for distance and accuracy. The top three teams received cash prizes. One of the key events in the 6th annual Pumpkin Festival!

The teams varied in their expertise and attire, there were the pirates and lumberjacks, the guys with ties with their high flying trebuchets, and then there was the physics team. It was the physics team first try at this competition, the design was lacking, the teammates were lackluster, the catapult (named Ol' Reliable) broke once in practice, more duct tape, even gorilla tape, then broke again during competition, better luck next time guys! (lots of sympathy from Buddy for having tried to do this before with grandson Kyle!

When we first arrived here in Rapid City we heard on TV something called the South Dakota School of Mines, and wondered what it was - is it where you learn to be a miner? are there mines around here?

Then we passed by a sign for the school: South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. The technology part of the school is what we witnessed at the punkin chunkin contest. The student TEAMS had to design a pumpkin catapult for the contest. These teams usually work on their separate fields of interest, like creating and building off-road vehicles, airplanes, robots, bridges. 

Founded in 1885 in Rapid City, S.D. to provide instruction in mining engineering at a location where mining was the primary industry, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology evolved into a science and engineering research facility offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,640 students from 45 states and 37 countries, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1. The SD School of Mines placement rate is 98 percent, with an average early career salary for graduates of $65,600, according to the 2014-2015 PayScale report. ~ from SDSMT website

And just last week in the news: The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology has been awarded a $4.8 million research contract from the United States Air Force to develop ultra-efficient energy technologies to improve military performance in hostile environments. ~RapidCityJournal

After learning about the school, it looks like the annual punkin chunkin contest is just a fun diversion from all the other interesting things going on at the SD School of Mines!

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