Retired Pumpkins Launched Out to Pasture

Bazookas, cannons, catapults, even trebuchets... choose your weapon

Option No. 1 when it comes to post-Halloween pumpkins should always involve explosives.

If explosives are unavailable, some type of catapult system or high-powered pumpkin cannon will do.

Let the Jack-o-Lantern launching begin Wednesday in Upland.

It's all in the name of higher and farther learning. About 150 Upland High School students are participating in a science project that pits dozens of contraptions against each other in the Super Bowl of gourd launching.

First launch was scheduled for 9:30 a.m.

The Upland launch comes on the heels of an event in Fullerton. That science-experiment-gone-gourd provided a few things to consider.

First, if college engineering students built the launcher, it's probably capable of causing damage. Second, point the launcher away from crowds, buildings and -- in this case -- the scoreboard at Cal State Fullerton's football field. Third, never underestimate your pumpkin cannon.

The scoreboard was damaged when it was blasted by the engineering students' stem-guided missile. Witnesses said the orange projectile flew 120 yards -- yes, a football field and then some.

The cannon was aimed at plywood targets. Those targets were only 50 yards away.

"The scoreboard is fine... it works... it was a small hole," an official told The Orange County Register.

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