The 2021 Make-A-Thon will be a virtual event coming January 29-31, 2021. If you’re interested, let us know and we will contact you when registration is open for the event. Registration for the event will close Jan. 22, 2021.
The Make-A-Thon Experience
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.
What’s the challenge?
How might we more sustainably use water, waste, energy, transportation or food as individuals, on campus or in our community, country or world? What solutions can you prototype using things like data science, entrepreneurship, 3D design and printing, and the internet of things? At the beginning of the Make-a-thon weekend, each team chooses a challenge theme/subject to address and narrows in on a specific scale such as individual, campus or community. For example, a team might choose to create a solution that helps individuals reduce personal water use or that helps the community incorporate more sustainable food practices.
Who can participate?
Make-A-Thon is open to any NC State student. Participants will be on three- or four-person teams. Students form their own teams. If you are an individual and do not have a team, utilize our Slack channel to look for other teammates to complete your team. Please use Slack (how to use Slack) or other means to form your team before registering for Make-a-thon. Registration for the event begins November.
What skills do I have to have to participate?
A think and do attitude is all that’s required. A true interdisciplinary event, Make-A-Thon brings together students with all kinds of backgrounds and skills. Some code. Some design. Some write. These diverse perspectives and skills will enable unique solutions to campus sustainability challenges. Bring whatever skills you have. Collaboration will take care of the rest.
Are there prizes?
Why, of course! Our website will be updated with prizes as they are determined.
I’m not a coder or a designer. Will that matter?
You don’t have to be a coder or a master of all things technology. It’s likely that someone else on your team may have skills in that area. Plus, we’ll have training sessions and mentors/experts around to help you.
How do I sign up?
Registration is available online from November until mid-January.
Do I have to register as an individual or a team?
You register as a team. Teams must consist of three or four people, and at least two of those people must be from separate colleges within NC State. If you already have a team formed, you will be able to register as a team. If you have a partial team formed or it’s just you, no worries. We’ve set up a channel on Slack so that you can find others looking for teammates.
The magic of Make-A-Thon happens when our student teams connect with community members. Sign up to mentor students for a couple hours or to judge the teams' prototypes.
The 2020 NC State Make-A-Thon is brought to you by the following hosts and sponsors. Interest in sponsoring? Contact Chester Miller at email@example.com for more information about sponsorship of the 2021 event.
GRAND PRIZE: Imagine smart windows that adapt to the changing level of sunlight. In this energy-saving system, window shades and indoor lighting would automatically adjust to the sun, providing the optimal level of lighting for building occupants. The team won $2,000.
Second Prize: An Internet of Things-connected sensor could help save $300 a year in residential water use. A companion app challenges users to save water while Machine Learning helps identify water leaks before they become major water wasters.
Third prize: Recycling requires a market for the recycled material. If recycled plastic is integrated into a new type of pre-made concrete mix, this could reduce plastic waste while also simplifying the plastic recycling process.
GRAND PRIZE: The team who won the grand prize used piezoelectricity to create floors that capture and store energy. Each member of the winning team received a Desktop 3-D Printer and Starter Kit.
Second Prize: An internet of things-enabled factory/office/home that uses sensors to determine how humans are interacting with the building
Third prize: A reusable cup program for campus, as well as a foldable cup prototype
Auotdesk Fusion 360 Prize: Use of enzymes to process plastic recyclables
Social Media Prize: Plant sensors that save water by eliminating unnecessary irrigation
Paradigm Innovation Dare To Shift Prizes: An internet of things-enabled factory/office/home that uses sensors to determine how humans are interacting with the building, a mobile app that improves efficiency of evening safety/security escorts on campus, a reusable coffee cup lid and campus cup share program
GRAND PRIZE: The winning idea is for a bike-share program that uses existing campus bicycles and infrastructure.
Each member of the winning team received a Desktop 3-D Printer and Starter Kit. The team also wona consulting session with Aly Khalifa, NC State’s social entrepreneur in residence, and gift certificates for free fabric poster printing from Spoonflower.
2ND PLACE: The winning idea is a app-based surge protector for outlets that results in reduced phantom load.
Each member of the team received a SparkFun Tinker Kit, a $100 Shapeways 3D printing credit and a gift certificate to Spoonflower.
BUILT ON CLOUD PRIZE: The winning idea is a trash can attachment that notifies a user if a recyclable item is thrown away.
IBM donated $1,000 cash to best cognitive cloud solution that utilizes Bluemix.
FUSION 360 PRIZE: The winning idea is a modification to residence hall trash chutes that will accommodate recycling.
Autodesk donated Space Mouse and digital caliper for each member of team that best utilizes Fusion 360 design software.
SOCIAL MEDIA PRIZE: The winning team chronicled the development of a water-saving showerhead device.
The winning team received a smartphone bundle of cool prizes for best documenting their design journey
GRAND PRIZE: KnowURShower reduces water and energy use associated with long showers
ENERGY PRIZE: ecopen, a door mechanism that generates energy as a door is opened
WATER PRIZE: Coliform No More, a reclaimed water storage tank that oscillates to prevent bacterial growth and lengthen the storage life of reclaimed water
WASTE PRIZE: Trashr, a sensor designed to optimize dumpster trash collection routes
FUSION 360 PRIZE: Step-Up Trash Compactor, which compacts trash or recycling using human power, and Internet of Things, an app that encourages sustainable behaviors