Columbia Engineering’s MakerSpace was humming with innovative ideas as students launched into the annual MAKECU Hardware Hackathon, a 24-hour, non-stop competition that challenges teams to build the most creative hardware hack. The teams programmed Arduino boards, wired up motors, and put the MakerSpace’s 3D printers, oscilloscopes, and other tools to work building a variety of hardware from scratch.
"Hackathons like MakeCU are important to students, especially undergrads, because they provide both beginners and veterans alike a creative environment to generate and construct original ideas and projects before going into industry," said Jacqueline Napolitano ’19, part of the IEEE Columbia team that organized the competition.
Neil Chen ’19 and Gilead Penn GS’17 won first place overall in the competition for Bubble, a machine created to teach children the bubble method of sorting by using cards. The best beginner hack and second place overall went to William Meng ’20, Doga Ozesmi ’20, Haley So ’20, and Erica Jo ’20 for Inchworm, a wooden device built with open source Arduino technology and a motor that moves like an inchworm. The third-place winner, Yonah Elorza ’19, put Arduino technology to work to create a model of a modern version of a trebuchet, a type of catapult that, in the Middle Ages, would have been used to fling projectiles at an enemy.