Dropping objects from great heights is an efficient way to explore the theories of gravity. And when those objects are pumpkins and the result is a giant splat, it’s fun for everyone.

The 32nd annual Pumpkin Drop will take place on Thursday, Oct. 31 at noon in Trinity Commons on the California State University, Chico campus. Led by the University’s Society of Physics Students and the Department of Physics, hundreds of North State elementary school students will watch gleefully as pumpkins aplenty will drop to the ground from a mechanical lift raised approximately 50 feet in the air in a real-life, real-time and real messy display of science.

“We’ll once again explore the many different and fascinating aspects of gravity in a fun and educational setting,” said Nick Nelson, assistant professor in the Department of Physics. “It will be another great event with plenty of smashed pumpkins, science and smiles.”

This year’s Pumpkin Drop is scheduled to last 30 to 45 minutes, and will continue to focus on the diversity of today’s physics students. While highlighting how scientific theories are formulated and then tested, a few fun treats will be thrown in for good measure.

An “intermission” will provide more fun opportunities for education. In addition to creating fog with hot water and liquid nitrogen, hydrogen peroxide and common household items will combine for a “vomiting pumpkin” demonstration—with the young onlookers having the ability to choose the color.

For more information on this year’s Pumpkin Drop, please contact Nelson at 530-898-3415.

Those who require an accommodation in order to watch the Pumpkin Drop or who have questions about accessibility may contact the Accessibility Resource Center at 530-898-5959.