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Homeschool team from Morgantown wins 33rd annual WVU Pumpkin Drop

West Virginia University's Mountaineer mascot pushing a packaged pumpkin off a building.

The Mountaineer pushes an entry off the Engineering Sciences Building during the 33rd annual Pumpkin Drop. 

After a two-year hiatus, West Virginia University again welcomed students from across the region to campus for the 33rd annual Pumpkin Drop, a popular event from the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources putting pumpkins in peril.

Story by Brittany Furbee, Communications Specialist
Photos by Paige Nesbit, Director of Marketing


More than 250 pumpkins were tossed from the top of the University’s Engineering Sciences Building, but only 16 survived the 11-story drop.

Homeschool team 15 from Morgantown took home the top honors. The team’s pumpkin landed just two feet, six inches from the target, earning team members the $100 first prize.

Team 29 from Mountaineer Middle School in Morgantown finished second, landing its pumpkin four feet, one inch from the target. The team was awarded $50.

Team 258 from Berkeley Springs High School in Berkeley Springs finished third, landing its pumpkin four feet, eight inches from the target. The team was awarded $25.

The competition aims to teach engineering concepts by tasking teams to design an enclosure to protect a pumpkin from damage when dropped from the roof of the building.

Teams from West Virginia, Pennsylvania and North Carolina competed in the event.

“We are so happy that students were able to participate in the incredible learning experience of the Pumpkin Drop again after the two-year break,” Scott Wayne, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, said. “It was amazing to see their excitement and enthusiasm.”

Mechanical Engineering alumnus and chair of the Statler College Visiting Committee John Gardner was in attendance to throw out the first pumpkin of the day.

The event is sponsored by the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and the WVU chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

“It was also great to see how hard the ASME students worked to organize an event they hadn’t been involved with previously,” Wayne said. “I am proud of how successful the event was as a result of their great work.”

Since its inaugural year, the organization has donated event proceeds to the Ronald McDonald House in Morgantown.



Contact: Paige Nesbit
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
304.293.4135, Paige Nesbit

For more information on news and events in the West Virginia University Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, contact our Marketing and Communications office:

Phone: 304-293-4135