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Pedestrians near McClung Tower Plaza this Friday may want to keep an eye to the sky, because UT’s Society of Physics Students will be hosting its fourth annual pumpkin drop.

The event will begin at 4 p.m. and will feature a range of other science-infused fall activities as well as a costume contest and student organization fair.

“We’ve found that this is a wonderful event for both the public and the university,” said Peyton Nanney, vice president of SPS and organizer of the pumpkin drop. “We have multiple other science demonstrations as well as student organizations doing their own activities.”

Following the organization fair, SPS will begin to drop pumpkins frozen in liquid nitrogen from nearly 60 feet in the air to help show the strange effects that extremely cold temperatures can have on organic objects.

Fortunately for bystanders, UT’s Department of Environmental Health and Safety will be on the scene to help maintain a safe environment.

“They freeze pumpkins in liquid nitrogen for nearly a week and drop them from an aerial lift on the Humanities Plaza,” said James Cantu, a safety training specialist with EHS. “EHS is usually present to help cordon off the area with caution tape and facilitate any needed discussions or provide guidance.”

Needless to say, Cantu does not recommend attempting this at home.

The event will be free and open to both the university community and the public. For more information, visit the SPS website.


Andrea Schneibel (, 865-974-3993)

Will Wells (