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Students enjoy 2020 West Point Intermediate School Pumpkin Drop

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Students anxiously await the 2020 West Point Intermediate School Pumpkin Drop Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. (Christy Perry for The Cullman Tribune)

WEST POINT, Ala. – The 2020 West Point Intermediate School Pumpkin Drop took place Friday afternoon in the school’s parking lot, and although the gusty winds may have affected the pumpkins’ parachutes, the costumed kids still had a blast as they watched their hard work plummet to the ground. Assisted by a crew from the Cullman Electric Cooperative, the pumpkins were lifted high in the air and dropped toward the target below. On the ground, members of the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office and Cullman Police Department helped score each entry.

For several weeks, each classroom spent its time in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Lab, designing a way for a pumpkin to be dropped without busting. All the pumpkins were in boxes the students attached to parachutes, and the boxes had different protective elements designed to keep the pumpkins inside intact. Not all were successful, but again, that wind may have been the cause of many of the parachutes failing to open.

Eleven pumpkins were dropped, and each was judged on: keeping the pumpkin safe, speed (the slower the speed the better), design and target. The police officers clocked the pumpkins’ speeds with a radar gun.

Waldo, aka West Point Intermediate School Principal Mike Jones, said of the event, “We implemented a STEM Lab. We tried to make and incorporate that as part of their education. The engineering and design process and the critical thinking, we try to get that as part of the daily curriculum. The kids can have that and the hands-on activities and any time we can do extra activities, we can. It gets them excited about it and they may not realize they are learning actual science, too.”

Jones said the kids were given the designs for their pumpkins, but it was up to the students to decide the materials used.

This is the second year for the pumpkin drop, and Jones said he hopes the event can be expanded and grow each year.

“Our kids are leaders here and we treat them like that, and we hope it pays off in the future for them,” he smiled.

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Christy Perry

christy@cullmantribune.com