The team’s solution
Our solution was based around the 1960s, and our end of the world scenario was mass hypnosis. The NaCOH Corporation (NaCOH is the chemical formula for baking soda) was trying to boost their sales by hypnotizing everyone into buying NaCOH baking soda. The CFO and owner of the company were all on board for this idea and they were the non-believers. On the other hand, the daughter of the owner and a group of product testers she unhypnotized were the longshots. In the end, the longshots short circuited the transmitter that was about to send out the hypnosis message.
Prop wise, three of our favorite props were the daughter character’s dress, which was made out of tape rings, a car that had a 18-inch long dragon riding on it, and a backdrop that was made to look like the Floating Gardens. The backdrop was originally just a plain sheet of foam core. It was slowly painted and built out to make a 3D representation of the Floating Gardens. One of our other favorite elements was our final reaction. We mixed baking soda with citric acid to make a bath bomb. After many hours testing and experimenting with different recipes, we came to one that disintegrated instantaneously.
Compared to other years, as a group, we did a lot more with motors outside of the main technical elements. Our countdown clock was a 60s style flip clock that was geared specifically to last six minutes. After trying many different gears, we were able to find the exact ratio that was needed. Even though it took a while to get the flip mechanism to work with gearing, it proved to be very helpful in both our practices and in our performance at our regional tournament.
We also learned a lot about putting texturing and depth in our props. The backdrop of the Floating Gardens might be the best piece we had this year and it was due to its texturing. It looked pretty good after just a layer of paint, but after lots of origami was added to it, it took it to another level.
Reflecting on the season
It takes time for something to be great: Whenever looking at our props as a whole, it is clear where we spent the most time. It isn’t that something looks bad per se, but our most eye grabbing props were the ones that we spent the most time on.