Five teams focusing on waste management split $6,500 in prize money at the 2023 NC State Make-A-Thon on Jan. 27-29.
NC State Make-A-Thon is an annual event that provides students the opportunity to showcase their creativity and problem-solving skills while addressing various sustainability challenges. Solutions can center on water, waste, climate change, environmental justice and more, allowing teams to focus on a sustainability challenge of their own design.
In its eighth year, Make-A-Thon hosted 101 students competing in 27 teams that represented 10 colleges and 6 NC State Housing Living and Learning Villages. With the help of 25 industry experts who were available on campus and virtually, teams researched, designed and built their solutions in less than 48 hours.
On the final day of competition, teams pitched their ideas to 30 judges from campus, the community and local companies.
The winning teams from the Jan. 27-29, 2023 competition are:
- Grand Prize, $3,000: Use of agricultural waste to produce magnetic biochar hydrogels to absorb contaminants from wastewater, such as organic chemicals and heavy metals. Spent hydrogels can also be reused for soil amendment.
- Team #25 represented: College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, College of Engineering, College of Sciences, The Graduate School
- Second Place, $2,000: An online site named Pack Exchange that allows students to buy, sell, give and swap items they no longer use.
- Team #16 represented: College of Engineering, Wilson College of Textiles
- Third Place, $1,000: A self-sanitizing, reusable cloth towel dispenser to reduce paper towel waste while providing an affordable and sanitary hand drying experience.
- Team #9 represented: College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, College of Engineering
The Wilson College of Textiles also offered a special textiles category and prizes to these winning ideas:
- Textiles 1st Place, $300: A machine that processes plastic bottles into thread, creating a sustainable fabric such as nylon
- Team #5 represented: College of Education, College of Engineering, Wilson College of Textiles
- Textiles 2nd Place, $200: Moss-based urinal cakes which are both biodegradable and do not contain nor emit harmful chemicals while conserving water.
- Team #24 represented: College of Engineering, College of Sciences, Wilson College of Textiles
Make-A-Thon is a collaboration of NC State Housing, Entrepreneurship, Libraries, University Sustainability Office, Academic and Student Affairs and the Wilson College of Textiles.