Flight of Fancy

Summer 2014

In Hackerman Hall, taking the stairs will improve not only your heart health, but also your mood.

This spring, a flight of steps on the building’s north side was transformed into a piano of sorts that serenades with bursts of notes as people travel from the first floor to the second (or vice versa). Think Big—as in Tom Hanks in FAO Schwarz.

The staircase is the brainchild of the Hopkins Robotics Club, an organization that includes students in majors ranging from electrical and computer engineering to computer science, mechanical engineering, and even humanities.

“We figured it would be cool to build something the community might like,” says Max Yelsky, club president and a sophomore electrical and computer engineering major.

It took about five hours to install the project. Blue tape shows where the notes can be activated and also the scale, from low C to high C.

“The best part is watching people use it,” Yelsky says. “The other day I saw a professor on his hands and knees, going up and down and playing a tune.”