Coming again in 2024!

Impactful ideation. Rapid prototyping. Real-world teamwork. That’s the NC State Make-A-Thon experience.

Students compete in teams to create the best solution to a sustainability challenge. Whether it’s about water, waste, energy, transportation or food — that’s up to you and your team to decide.

At the end of the competition, you will pitch your idea to judges from the community and local companies. And, yes, there are prizes for the winning teams: $3,000 for first place, $2,000 for second place and $1,000 for third place. Up to $500 will also be awarded to teams representing the Wilson College of Textiles showcasing the best use of textiles in a team’s solution.

Students experience the virtual reality prototype created by a Make-a-thon team.

Support NC State Make-A-Thon

Help NC State raise $5,400 to support this weekend of all-out innovation by students.

Participants talk about Make-A-Thon — what to expect and why it’s worth it

Make-A-Thon is brought to you by the following hosts:

Interested in sponsoring? Contact Chester Miller at for more information about sponsorship of the 2023 event.

Previous Winners

GRAND PRIZE: 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.

Second Place: An online site named Pack Exchange that allows students to buy, sell, give and swap items they no longer use.

Third Place: A self-sanitizing, reusable cloth towel dispenser to reduce paper towel waste while providing an affordable and sanitary hand-drying experience.

The Wilson College of Textiles also offered a special textiles category and prizes to teams the following ideas:

  • A machine that processes plastic bottles into thread, creating a sustainable fabric such as nylon
  • Moss-based urinal cakes that are biodegradable and do not contain nor emit harmful chemicals while conserving water.

To see the awards ceremony please check the live stream replay hereClick here to read a summary of the submitted projects. Click here to read about the winning solutions.