The second annual MakeHarvard engineering makeathon was a huge success. The event brought over 370 top students from around the world to compete for prizes while building engineering prototypes. It was great to see such a diverse representation of different nations, cultures, and languages. The 2019 event was twice as large as last year, making everything seem bigger and better.
The maker movement is essentially a tech-influenced, do-it-yourself community. It was informally created around 15 years ago around Make Magazine—a geeked-out periodical featuring lots of DIY articles for creations, such as VCRs converted into cat feeders and 3D printers. Maker spaces and events have become more and more popular, inspiring startups and manufacturing innovation as well as clogging garages the world over with half-finished robots and potato cannons.
Sunstone Circuits was eager to return as a sponsor and creator of a competition category this year, also serving as both mentors and competition judges. If you were there, you saw us—we were hard to miss in our bright orange vests. As mentors, we were out and about helping students and answering questions.
The student projects had all kinds of design elements, from software on complex platforms and different programming languages to hardware engineering of all kinds. It was truly amazing to see what these teams could do in a short amount of time. The myriad of skills on display ranged from concept design to advanced coding with real-world platforms, such as AWS. Some projects featured mobile apps and websites. Further, we saw real 3D objects designed, printed, and integrated into projects with documentation that would make most corporate projects envious.
The students were full of questions, and we were eager to help. Sometimes, there were questions we didn’t have complete answers for at the ready, but usually, we were able to suggest a place to find the answer. All the students needed was a direction, and they were all over finding the solution. Problem solved.
Sunstone sponsored Make It Matter—a competition focused on innovative prototypes that had significant social, personal, or environmental impacts. Teams had 36 hours to come up with an idea and bring their creation from design to prototype.
To read this entire column, which appeared in the March 2019 issue of Design007 Magazine, click here.