Pumpkin Race Inspires Creativity, Problem-Solving

LGS’s participation in the Great Pumpkin Race—an annual fundraiser benefitting the Autism Society of Greater Cincinnati—offers a unique opportunity to challenge the creativity and problem-solving skills of some of the school’s 6-8 team students.

Students began by generating possible themes for their pumpkin, ultimately deciding on the villain Mysterio from Spiderman.

Next, the challenge of building a racing pumpkin using two independent axles. The secret to success? For the pumpkin racer to go straight down the track, the axles have to be perfectly parallel.

To assemble their racer, students first painted and decorated the pumpkin. The pumpkin was then fitted into a jig, and marks were made on the jig to indicate where to drill holes for the axels. After the holes were drilled through the jig and the pumpkin, the axels were inserted into the pumpkin and then the wheels added using washers and nuts.

Now the fun part: test runs down the school hallway! This is the best way to see if the pumpkin is rubbing on the ground, wobbling, or veering one way or the other. Then students have to determine appropriate corrections to help their pumpkin roll fast and straight! Good luck, team!

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