Make-a-thon Challenges and Rules

The SPIKE Make-a-thon is presented by Team 293 SPIKE, the FIRST Robotics Competition Team of Hopewell Valley Central High School, and by the Team’s booster club, Pets4SPIKE, a New Jersey Nonprofit Corporation. The SPIKE Make-a-thon is a one-week problem-solving challenge to raise awareness of ALS and improve the lives of ALS patients and their families. The Make-a-thon also expresses our team’s mission to share and spread the benefits of STEM throughout our community. 

The 2019 293 SPIKE Make-a-thon challenges have just been released! This year, we are tackling the terrible neurodegenerative disease ALS, and some specific problems associated with it. Those problems are:

How can we help those living with ALS, who have a difficult time using their hands, to hold a fork?

If a person with ALS can no longer speak, how can we best help them to continue with daily communications?

How can we help them write and take notes?

How can we help people with ALS keep track of the demands, exercises and progress of their physical therapy?

How can we help those with ALS pull up their pants?

How can we help transfer a paralyzed individual from out of bed and into a wheelchair?

Rules and Judging

Submissions should provide help, or a solution, to one of the challenges listed above that are faced by ALS patients and their families. All submissions are due at the beginning of, and must be presented at, the SPIKE Innovation Fair, Saturday, September 28, 2019, at 10:00 AM, at Hopewell Valley Central High School, Pennington, NJ.

Judging Criteria: Responsiveness to the challenge, Creativity, Originality, Practicality, Aesthetics, and Level of effort.

Prizes: Prizes will be awarded in the following categories: “Business Plan,” “Concept/Design”, “Prototype” (for physical or working models), “Best in Show,” and a Judges Award for a submission that makes a unique impression on the judges.

Teams will be judged in all categories, but may only win a prize in one category. The decision of the judges is final. 

Please also note: By and in consideration for your participation, you agree that: your participation in the Make-a-thon is for the benefit of and within the mission of the Hopewell Valley Regional School District, SPIKE, Pets4SPIKE, and our benefactor charities; all submissions and intellectual property therein will become the property of Pets4SPIKE; certain risks are involved in participating in the Make-a-thon and you voluntarily assume those risks and waive any related claims; and you are wholly responsible for your own behavior and possessions during the Make-a-thon. 

Photographers, videographers and media are present at Make-a-thon events. By and in consideration for your participation, you consent for you and your family to be photographed and videographed, and you grant HVRSD, SPIKE, Pets4SPIKE, and our benefactor charities the right to use your name and likeness for all purposes including any advertising, promotion, trade or commercial purposes, social media and publications, and you waive all royalties and right to other compensation. If you do not wish to be photographed or videographed, please inform a leader of the event.

We encourage you to direct questions regarding the competition to:

Max Warias –

Marcos Huergo –

Sullivan Meyer –

Spread the word about the Make-a-Thon and the important work of SPIKE (@293SPIKE) and the charities that will be our beneficiaries (@HopeLovesCo and @HarkALSHope). Use the hashtags #293SPIKEMakes and #LetsKickSomeALS.