Toy Product Design, 2.00B, has been cancelled this Spring 2014 but will be offered again in Spring 2015. Other courses, most prominently 2.007, Design and Manufacturing, will count toward the requirements fulfilled by 2.00B.
According to Professor David R. Wallace PhD ‘94, who teaches the course, there was no graduate student with sufficient knowledge of the material available to teach the class.
“I felt that I could not fully cover both 2.00B and 2.744 [Product Design, a graduate class that Wallace also teaches in the spring] by myself and also maintain the type of learning experience we hope to offer in either class. Since 2.744 was not offered in 2013, and many graduate students are on a 2 year cycle, the decision was made to cancel 2.00B for this year,” Wallace said.
Taken mostly by freshmen, 2.00B offers an introduction to the product design process with a focus on toys. Students work in teams to design, prototype, and build a toy from start to finish. According to the course website, “Students work closely with a local sponsor, an elementary school, and experienced mentors on a themed toy design project.”
The course has, since the beginning, been taught by a graduate student taking the lead teaching role, with Wallace as a supporting role. Other graduates, undergraduates, and outside mentors also help provide mentorship to the individual teams. As Wallace said, this model seems to give the graduate instructor a great learning opportunity and has worked well with the predominantly freshman classes.
Students have expressed disappointment at the announcement of the cancellation.
“It’s really disappointing, honestly. It’s supposed to give an introduction to Course 2 to a lot of freshmen, and I was still deciding between 2A with 6 and 6-2, and I feel like if I had taken 2.00B this semester I would’ve gotten a better view of what Course 2 is supposed to be,” said Carlos A. Henriquez ‘17.
Rory M. Beyer ‘17 said, “There’s so many people that wanted to take it. It was kind of disappointing that they couldn’t pull it off. I might try to take it next year. It’s definitely a bummer.”
“Many upperclassmen, even those not involved in course 2 or course 2A, suggested 2.00B as a fun and engaging way to be introduced to Course 2,” said Ryan A. Robinson, ‘17.
According to an email sent out by Brandy J. Baker, the Academic Administrator of the Undergraduate Office of Mechanical Engineering, 2.007 will fulfill half of the 2.00 requirement, as well as half of a class in the student’s concentration for Course 2A.