EVANSTON — Every quarter for their DTC projects, groups of McCormick students design various novel devices, from prosthetic arms to penguin feet. This quarter, one unlucky group has been given the most formidable challenge the engineering school has ever proposed: reopening the Norris Ice Rink.
“We realize that this is a tough task,” said Mark Turner, a freshman civil engineer. “Even mother nature couldn’t get the ice rink open. That’s where engineering comes in.”
The group of eager engineers are already hard at work developing a plan to revive the rink. “It appears we need a solidified version of water that is only attainable at low temperatures,” explained Sandy Williams, another member of the group. “If we designed some sort of water-freezing implement we should theoretically be able to create a wide, slick surface suitable for skating.”
“We were able to identify the primary challenge as finding an effective way to get the water to such low temperatures,” Turner elaborated, “which seemed like a simple enough task, since you know, water usually freezes when it gets cold. We ran a couple of ideas by our advisor, like building a giant freezer or maintaining a constant flow of liquid nitrogen, but he pointed out that this wasn’t really energy-efficient or, like, safe in any way at all, so we went back to the drawing board.”
“We thought and thought,” said Joe Green, a third group member, “and then we kind of realized that the only way to get water to freeze on the scale we needed was…weather. So at this point we’ve determined that what we really need to do is solve global warming.”
As the quarter progresses, and the ice rink remains closed, the hopes and dreams of a Northwestern student body eager to lace up their skates, as well as the entire population of endangered baby harp seals, have come to rely on this group of one-day-engineers to develop an effective way to solve the climate crisis. After being reminded that many of the finest scientific minds of the era remain gridlocked on the same issue, Green commented, “I mean, I’m not trying to brag, but I got an A- in EA4, so I’m sure I can figure it out.”