Pumpkin Smashing at the Discovery Center

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Pumpkin Smashing at the Discovery Center

Citlalli Perez, Reporter

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Halloween is a time where children go from house to house collecting sugary sweets and people in the community decorate their homes with carved pumpkins and other hair-raising decorations.

Each year, however, many local pumpkin farms go without selling a few sections of their pumpkins and crops, especially those that are present with imperfections. As a response to the unsold pumpkins, The Discovery Center Museum in Rockford, Illinois hosted their annual “Pumpkin Smashing” event and invited community families to bring in their own pumpkins to use as a projectile. In addition, it’s a fun way to discard carved pumpkins at the end of the Halloween season.

Sponsored by Sjostrom and Sons, the special event took place on the fourth of November from 1 to 4 p.m. Volunteers were asked to arrive a half hour earlier to prepare the stations and refreshments for children and parents coming inside after the pumpkin smashing.

The main event children come for is the pumping smashing. This event involves numerous catapults of different shapes and sizes, as well as watching the process in which pumpkins are launched high in the air and splat as they hit the cement floor.

This method of catapulting tests Newton’s Third Law of Motion: for every action force, there is a reaction force that is equal in strength and opposite in direction. Placing the dense pumpkins in the catapults acts as the object being tested and the initial release of the catapult’s arm acts as the applied force. One must also take into account the force of gravity that is constantly applied to all objects on Earth.

Belvidere North High School clubs and other organizations from local Rockford schools have volunteered for several years now at this post-Halloween event. This past Sunday, Belvidere North’s Key Club had a volunteer opportunity in the Art section at the Discovery Center. Here, students interacted with children in face painting stations, making pumpkin pie pudding, miniature catapults, sizzling apple cider, and many more interactive stations.

“I did face painting for the event at Discovery Center. It was so much fun being able to see their joyful expressions as I revealed to them what I painted. I’m definitely going to volunteer next time, especially if I get another slice of pumpkin pie.” said Ihtzel Perez (‘20).

Key Club, a service club at BNHS brings high school students and the community together as they contribute time and effort to improve the economic, social, and environmental status of the community. The annual event brings the community together as they smash pumpkins.

The Discovery Center and organizations in the surrounding area are in constant need for young volunteers. Most honor societies at Belvidere North requires a certain amount of community service, so it would be worthwhile to take advantage of the many opportunities that come across.

The main objective of Key Club is to volunteer one’s time in community projects and participate in other ways to become involved in the community. As winter is approaching, members of Key Clubs will be presented with service, such as bell ringing in various local stores, purchasing gifts for Adopt-an-Angel, and giving back to the community however possible.

Belvidere North’s Key Club will most likely be volunteering our time at Discovery Center events in the upcoming months. Service opportunities are a great way to become involved in the community.

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