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ABAC Students Build Pumpkin Chunker

TIFTON – Students working at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College this fall tackled a unique project which hurls pumpkins hundreds of feet through the air.

 The Pumpkin Chunker, which is really an oversized slingshot, is formally known as a counterweight trebuchet.  It served as a major attraction during the Museum’s Fall Frolics events each Saturday in October.

The idea for the Chunker was originally proposed to the GMA staff in 2011 by Friends of the Museum board member Charlotte Bedell. Students participating in the project were Chris Mullis, Nathan Dupree, Medford McDonald, Brandon Douberly, Kody Plemmans, Chad Warrick, Josh Bennett, and Chandler Bartley. Mullis served as the lead builder/engineer for the project.   

The students involved in building the Pumpkin Chunker also served as its operators. The massive catapult, armed with a 1,000 pound counterweight, was able to fire a pumpkin over 120 yards into Agrirama Lake.  It was a huge hit for the 2,100 visitors to the Museum during October.

Steve Pair of Fitzgerald donated the beautiful hickory timbers that he personally milled for the project. He also served as a technical advisor during the build.

“I am extremely proud of this talented group of ABAC students,” said Garrett Boone, Assistant Director of the GMA.  “We are fortunate to have them working at the Museum. This project was not an easy one, but they tackled it with enthusiasm and showed a tremendous amount of skill in a variety of different areas in order to surmount the hurdles encountered throughout the build and during its operation.” 
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