LookUp in the air. Its a bird, its a plane, its apumpkin? Thats right, actually several pumpkins coming in for a landing.

The West Virginia University College of Engineering and Mineral Resourcesannual Pumpkin Drop will begin at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 28, at the Engineering Sciences Building on WVU s Evansdale Campus.

The event, sponsored by the WVU Student Chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, invites young and old to hurl their orange projectiles from the top of the 11-story engineering building towards a target on the ground. The challenge of the contest is to design containers that will protect the pumpkins from breaking as they hit.

The team whose pumpkin lands closest to the target without going splat wins. There are cash prizes for the top three winners and a fourth award for originality of design.

The rules are simple: Pumpkins must be at least 10 inches in diameter, weigh no more than 60 pounds (protective structure included) and be free-falling (no bungee cords). The insides of the pumpkins may not be altered, and no Styrofoam peanuts or other small, non-biodegradable fillers are allowed.

A team of engineering faculty, staff and students will inspect the pumpkins for compliance, as well as judge the intact ones on how close they land to the designated target.

In addition to being a fun engineering event, the contest is also a fund-raiser for ASME . There is a non-refundable $10 entry fee, and proceeds will go to the Ronald McDonald House in Morgantown, which provides lodging for families of hospitalized children.

There will also be engineering displays for interested viewers and refreshments on sale at the event.

Due to the growing popularity of the event, the number of teams allowed to participate has been limited to 150. The first to pre-register will be accepted. Interested persons can register through Wednesday, Oct. 26, by calling Nancy Yost at (304) 293-3111 ext. 2330. Check-in will begin at 8:30 a.m. in front of Engineering Sciences on the Evansdale Campus.

Participants are asked to keep the safety of fellow contestants and observers in mind when designing their pumpkin protectors. Containers with heavy, sharp or protruding metal will be disqualified, as will any other containers deemed unsafe by the judges. These decisions by the judges will be final.

The mechanical and aerospace engineering students are challenging other student organizations, individual students and faculty from WVU , surrounding universities, colleges and schools to join them for this event. Rememberpumpkin projectiles plummet rain or shine.

For additional information or contest rules go tohttp://www.mae.cemr.wvu.edu/news