Here at Northeastern there are hundreds of great student organizations to get involved in! We want to highlight some organizations that you may not know, so we’re interviewing members of student organizations to learn a little bit about them and what their club is about. Tune in every week for a new post from The Club Chronicle!
The Club Chronicle Interview #24: NUToys
Can you tell me about yourself and how you got involved in NUToys?
My name is Kiera. I started being a member of NU Toys when they had their slime night, which was a night where we made slime. When I was a Sophomore I saw a poster for the event and I showed up and really enjoyed the vibe of the club. It’s very low key and small. We just go with the flow and support projects as they come and go. Compared to other engineering clubs it’s laid back. That vibe is what drew me to it, I wanted to focus on my coursework and this club allows me to participate when I have the time to. I can work on projects as I want to and have them done and be able to put it on my resume but not be stressed about it. I’ve seen people for other clubs have to work all weekend to get their project done and that’s not for me. I was the student liaison the semester after I joined and now I’m the president. We’ve actually had all female presidents actually since we started.
What is the mission of NUToys?
We are a low stress, project based club where we design, prototype, or fix broken toys. We have people come in with their own ideas and we help them build something. We also have people come in who want a specific skill like some want to learn how to solder or 3D print, and we’ll give them projects to work on gaining those skills. We are not all engineers, but a lot of us are. If people come with an idea for a toy they submit a one page proposal that says this is what I want to build, I promise I’ll actually build it, then we fund it through our own fundraising. If it’s a really good idea we have a few professors who have actually gave more money if the project gets expensive. We’re supposed to be low stress, like my first project took me a year and a half, not because it was particularly hard but because I took my time with it.
How many students get involved in NUToys?
On a good night 25, on a normal night 15. We have fun together. We just had our slime night, that had about 35 people who showed up. We made a bunch of slime and made a moderately large mess but had a good time.
NUToys Slime Night 2017
Other than slime night do you put on other events?
Our biggest event is slime night. We do other more engineering focused things like we have a paper airplane night. You get a limited number of supplies and you make the paper airplane and whoever goes the farthest gets a prize. We have a lot of people who co-op at Hasbro so we have discount toys in our locker that we give out as prizes.
Do you meet regularly? If so when and where?
We meet every week on Thursday at 7 in 014 IV.
How long has your club been around for?
I’m the fourth president, so four years.
Do you have social media students can follow you on?
We are active on Facebook, the name of the page is just NUToys, and we have an email list. We mostly communicate with Slack.
NUToys Paper Airplane Night 2018
How do students get involved?
People can just come to meetings. We try to have a low barrier to entry. We have big projects then little projects you can do in an hour. We have introductory projects that people can do to not make the full commitment of doing like a year long thing.
What happens to the toys after they’re made?
We can’t give them away unfortunately because of FDA rules. We usually just play them ourselves and have fun. Our biggest project was completely last week, it was a fully fledged arcade game. He coded everything and built the whole stand up box. It was very exciting to get to play that. The whole point is to have small technical projects to put on your resume as an engineer. Everyone has the same one project you do in your first year class and not anything else until co-op. It’s to allow people to do the next level of project after that first year class and be able to talk about it.
What’s one thing you wished people knew about NUToys.
That we exist! Also that we’re all very close and we have a lot of fun. I have met some of my best friends in this club and they are people I never would have met if I hadn’t shown up to that slime night.
Completed NUToys Project: A fidget cube based on higher dimensional geometry
What is your favorite part about being involved in NUToys?
I really enjoy the people I think they’re a different breed of engineer. There’s a lot of shenanigans and banter and good times at the meetings. It never feels like it’s something I have to go to, it’s always exciting to get to go and hang out with my friends.
What is your favorite toy you’ve seen and that you have worked on?
My favorite one I’ve seen is there was an electrical engineer that made a fully functioning RC card out of an arduino and a cardboard box. So a cardboard box would just come driving at you, which was very funny. In terms of my favorite project I’ve worked on, there’s a professor on campus, who actually helped start the club, and he wanted us to take a toy elephant music box and make it so he could play any song on it. We’re in the process of tearing it apart to put in a bluetooth speaker. We also want to make the head turn with the music.I’m working on the mechanical aspects and some other people are working the electric aspects so that’s been fun. It’s a little more complicated than usual but it’s been fun.