2.00 students capture balloons for Pokémon-themed project
Approximately 60 students in the 2.00 Introduction to Design class gathered in Lobby 7 on Monday night to demonstrate their solutions to capturing three “TechBeavers” — helium-filled balloons suspended in the air — as part of their first project, dubbed “Pokécapture.”
The Pokémon theme was visible everywhere, from the balloons stamped with a picture of Bibarel (which is, appropriately, the Beaver Pokémon) to the Pikachu costume donned by the class instructor, Professor Maria Yang.
The 12 teams each had two weeks to make a balloon-capturing apparatus using basic materials, such as foam boards, string, and aluminum foil. During the project presentation, each team had five minutes to “capture” three balloons suspended by plastic clamps on string suspended across the second-floor balconies of Lobby 7.
One team constructed a pivoting jaw-like apparatus mounted on a long foam stick that opened gradually around the balloon when pushed against it from underneath. “Teeth” at the ends of the apparatus held the balloon in place as it was pulled from the clamp. This team successfully captured all three balloons without popping or losing them. Other teams were less fortunate in their Pokécapture endeavors, as evinced by the presence of a dozen or so TechBeaver balloons floating underneath the roof of the dome by the end of the night.
After their presentations were finished, the teams immediately began to break down their projects. Yang expressed satisfaction with the class’s performance, saying that “everyone did very well”. Students appeared unconcerned about the fates of the escaped Pokémon trapped under the dome.