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APEGNB's 8th Annual Pumpkin Fling

Wed September 1, 2010

Cheer for your engineers at the APEGNB Pumpkin Fling!

The Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of New Brunswick (APEGNB) will hold their eighth annual Pumpkin Fling on September 25, 2010 at the Waterford Green Park, in the Historic Chatham Business District within the City of Miramichi. 

The APEGNB Pumpkin Fling event was first established by the association in 2003 to promote awareness of basic engineering principles such as friction, trajectory and aerodynamics in a unique and fun way.  

“We’ve launched pumpkins into the Miramichi River using trebuchets, air cannons and bottle rockets. The big pieces of equipment have been designed and manufactured by engineers and a team of volunteers,” says Kevin Gallant, P.Eng., lead organizer of the APEGNB Pumpkin Fling. 

A professional engineer, Gallant works as an instructor at the Miramichi campus of the New Brunswick Community College.

“Our association had been looking for a natural public relations event to help us highlight the work of our association and the roles played by professional engineers and geoscientists. The APEGNB Pumpkin Fling helps us do that.

“This year, we will once again blast pumpkins from our air cannon created by Sunny Corner Enterprises and APEGNB volunteers. The air cannon will be mounted on the edge of the south bank of the Miramichi River at the Station Wharf Marina. Pumpkins will be hurled at a target approximately 1,000 feet off shore. The cannon is powered by compressed air to 120 pounds per square inch. The barrel is six inches in diameter and approximately eight feet long and is mounted on a utility trailer for ease of transport and aiming. Aiming will be like an artillery gun, where we will point and shoot. The pumpkin is expected to reach a speed of up to 70 miles per hour or more.”

Gallant’s team of Pumpkin Fling volunteers includes many members of  the Northeastern Branch of  Engineers and Geoscientists New Brunswick including: Doug Howe, Sunny Corner Enterprises Inc.; Kirk Mullin, P.Eng., Trac Industries; William Schenkels, P.Eng., Sunny Corner Enterprises Inc.; Patrick McMahon, P.Geo., NBCC Miramichi; Thomas Jennings, NBCC Miramichi; Andrew Frost, NBCC Miramichi; Brett Gallant, Sunny Corner Enterprises Inc. Assistance was also provided by local community supporters like Leon Bremner of Bremner Farms Ltd. 

“I think our team volunteered for this project because there is still a bit of the kid still left in all of us,” says Gallant. “The event draws a lot of attention from the public and I think it captures their imagination. The APEGNB Pumpkin Fling is a real-life science experiment that we are using to motivate children to consider science and engineering as a great career path. The Pumpkin Fling allows those watching to gain some understanding of kinematics, the science of motion. Whether you are studying science or engineering at university or college, these elements are basic principles of physics that you would be studying. 

“Engineers are usually so busy designing and creating things like bridges, telecommunications technology and energy solutions that we don’t have time to introduce ourselves properly. The things we invent get recognition but the people behind the technology, the engineers, don’t often get noticed. This family-oriented festival  allows us to showcase some of what we do in a good old-fashioned way.

“Our pumpkins are supplied compliments of Ralph Lockerbie in Loggieville. Children will be painting their pumpkins with the assistance of NBCC Miramichi students from the art fundamentals and animation programs. 

“The association would also like to thank Emily Hanscombe of Her Cloths Closet and the Historic Chatham Business District, for all their work in helping to organize this year’s Pumpkin Festival activities,” said Gallant. 

“We hope the community can come out and cheer for their engineers during the APEGNB Pumpkin Fling. It’s the 90th anniversary of our Association and what better place to celebrate our birthday and engineering ingenuity than on the banks of the mighty Miramichi—the river of dreams!”