ready to launchCaption: Tanya Samra, left, Lexi Schaffer and Ashley DeLuca prepare to launch their pumpkin. Photo by Karen Tapia Download Photo

University Initiative: STEM

Pumpkin Launch: A Smashing Hit

Thousands Attend Fourth Annual Event

Crowds of parents, children and others cheered wildly as pumpkins streaked across the sky, launched from large, creatively handmade catapults, slingshots and other engineering-related devices at the fourth annual Pumpkin Launch.

Dean cheersCaption: Raman Unnikrishnan, dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science, and Victor Delgado cheer on the pumpkin-launching students. Photo by Karen Tapia Download Photo

Some pumpkins hit the intended targets, and others were pummeled into the air so far and high that the gourds missed the mark and smashed into pieces at the Nov. 5 campus event.

The university’s student chapter of the Society of Women Engineers was the first team to hit a dragon target, and in the end, the competition's first-ever, all-female team garnered second place. A total of 15 teams competed in the community event, including six teams from the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

"It means so much to our team to have won second place," said Ashley DeLuca, a mechanical engineering major and president of the student chapter of the Society of Women Engineers. "It's great to receive recognition for something we have worked so hard on over the past month. It's been great to bring attention to the fact that women are fully capable of doing anything men can do. Our club has proven that!"

The event also featured engineering- and science-related activities for children, including hands-on educational fun organized by the college's engineering students and Discovery Science Center. The College of Engineering and Computer Science, Discovery Science Center and Future Scientists & Engineers of America sponsored the event.

This year's first-place winning team was from Riverside’s California Baptist University; the third-place finisher was the team from Valadez Middle School Academy in Placentia.

Ashley DeLucaCaption: Ashley DeLuca, of the second-place winning team, launches a pumpkin. Photo by Karen TapiaDownload Photo

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