By Jan Jennings
39th Annual Watermelon Drop at University of California, San
The Revelle College
tradition marks the end of the school year at UCSD. (Revelle
graduation is June 13.) Amidst much fanfare, a “Watermelon
Queen” chosen by the students will toss the watermelon
from the top (7th floor) of Urey Hall – to the countdown
by the crowd below. The goal is to break velocity/splat records.
Hundreds of UCSD students gather to witness this annual ritual
and students try to predict where the farthest piece will land.
12:05 p.m., Friday, June 4, 2004
LOCATION: Optimal viewing is from the sidewalk
in front of Urey Hall, Revelle Campus.
The Watermelon Drop (or splat or toss) originated with UCSD’s
first undergraduate class in 1965. All Revelle freshmen took
a physics class with professor Bob Swanson. As a physics problem,
Swanson asked: “If a watermelon was dropped from a 7-story
building, where would the farthest piece land?” and “What
would be the velocity on impact of the watermelon?” Members
of the class arranged the actual watermelon drop from Urey Hall,
voted for a “Watermelon Queen” and the drop has
been an annual challenge each year.
The best official record
for the splat is 167 feet 4 inches set in 1974. Swanson again
will be observing the drop.
Media Contact: Jan
Jennings (858) 822-1684