27, 2000, Gazette)
Fisher got the news just before Christmas, he smelled opportunity.
CTVs morning news program Canada AM had called the engineering
faculty just as exams were ending and invited it to participate
in a live New Years Eve telecast at Greensleeves pub on
George Street. They wanted MUNs student engineers to construct
a time capsule a container that would last for 100 years,
until Jan. 1, 2100. Were they up to the challenge?
of the Manufacturing Technology Centre, Mr. Fisher saw an opportunity
to give students hands-on experience and a chance to showcase
the schools talent in a national forum.
always like a challenge, he said. And if we get a
chance to highlight the capabilities of students while were
at it, then thats always a positive thing.
Dave Bursey and Adam Reid were enlisted for the project, and
began researching ideas for their container on the Internet,
but scant information from the client and limited resources
financial and otherwise chewed up more extravagant
than two weeks to go and the clock ticking, the students were
off and running.
was a bit rushed, Mr. Bursey admitted. They just
had a whole list of things they wanted to put in it. They said
something from The Museum of Civilization and something
from The Ontario Science Centre. Of course, we had no idea
how big these objects were going to be.
adds, Two weeks is pretty short but it is a real-world
problem ... you have a deadline, you have constraints, and you
have a product that has to be finalized. It was pretty exciting.
As Mr. Fisher explains, these kinds of design challenges are
crucial to engineering education.
gets students into this idea that as soon as you get out of here
and you get away from a textbook, things will be vague, and your
job is to bring clarity to the problems.
and Mr. Reids first goal was to find the materials they
needed, scrounging around the labs for whatever was left over
from other projects. Finding a big sheet of aluminum in one of
the labs over the holidays was a stroke of luck, and, with welding
services donated by Technical Services, the students created
a four-foot tall aluminum cylinder with a pie pan
top, two handles, and logo placards.
time came to deliver the big shiny can, the client was very pleased
and so were the engineers.
seemed amazed at it, Mr. Reid said.
agreed, They were really impressed with it; it was bigger
than they expected it to be.
telecast, Canada AMs host Jeff Hutcheson filled the capsule
almost to the lid with items like an autographed Wayne Gretzky
jersey, CDs, a cell phone, a bottle of beer, a Hudsons
Bay blanket, maple syrup, a basketball, a videotape of the 1972
Canada Cup match, and some newspapers.
and Mr. Reid signed the underside of the lid just before sealing
was a last-minute idea, Mr. Reid said. We were sitting
down looking at it and we said, Hey, we should sign our
names to this.
As Mr. Bursey
put it, Everyone kind of wants to leave a mark behind,
and now I know my names going to be around for at least
100 years anyway.
are pleased that they had even this small part to play in the
big millennial celebrations. But what do they think will happen
on Jan. 1, 2100, when the capsule gets opened?
We wouldnt want to be the guys who open it,
Mr. Bursey said, laughing.
pretty acidic, so that could cause a few reactions, said
Mr. Reid. And that could be a pretty nasty bottle of beer
when its opened.
quick to add, Itd be nice for our grandkids to open
it, if its still around.