The 293 SPIKE MAKE-A-THON is a one week engineering-design challenge for teams of 1-5 competitors. The competition is open to people of all ages and ability levels, and is a key feature of 293 SPIKE’s Inspiration Initiative.
The 293 SPIKE Make-A-Thon is a week-long problem-solving challenge that applies your innovation to addressing the challenges that ALS patients face daily. Teams of 1-5 people can register to compete in the ALS challenge. The challenges will be revealed this fall at the start of the competition at Hopewell Valley Central High School.
One week after the kickoff, teams will reconvene at HVCHS to present their ideas, designs, and/or prototypes in an expo setting. A panel of judges will select winning solutions. Winners can receive awesome prizes, which will be announced closer to the event. The Make-A-Thon is free and everyone can participate! Participants and visitors alike will get to see other solutions challenges, and engage with each other and ALS organizations.
Engineering with a Purpose
Besides being a fun community event, the 293 SPIKE MAKE-A-THON serves 293 SPIKE’s Inspiration efforts, which aim to increase awareness and interest in STEM and extend the benefits of STEM in its community. By not only being available to high school age groups, but also to middle school students, elementary school students, and adults who aged out of FIRST or have never been exposed to FIRST, the Make-a-thon engages completely new groups in the FIRST style of STEM education. This forms lasting connections with people, inspiring them to become involved in FIRST or the STEM community in general. We have already achieved success in this mission, bringing in multiple elementary school and community teams into the inaugural Make-a-thon.
The 293 SPIKE MAKE-A-THON not only brings a diversity of age into local STEM, but also makes STEM available to communities that would not otherwise have access to it. 293 SPIKE supports Make-a-thon participants in as many ways as possible, including waiving the registration fee for teams that demonstrate need and having our shop open all week with team members ready to help.
Finally, the SPIKE Make-A-Thon raised awareness of ALS and bettered the lives of ALS patients and their families. 293 SPIKE worked with Deb Frabicatore, who runs an ALS fundraiser in honor of her brother; Sara Cooper, a late local business professional who suffered from ALS; and Jodi O’Donnell, the founder of Hope Loves Company, a non-profit that runs camps for families affected by ALS in order to achieve all of these things.
Overall, the 293 SPIKE MAKE-A-THON further serves 293 SPIKE’s core value of pushing for better. We better ourselves through an engineering design challenge, we better community STEM by making that challenge accessible to everyone, and we better our greater community building our event around kindness, generosity, and gracious professionalism.