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Posted on 09 Mar 2023

Rising to the Maker Challenge!

The Maker Challenge is a programme in which one attends theory-practical sessions that build up various long-term skills. One is then asked to use those skills to invent anything that they shall like, with the materials that Imperial College offers and the help -from the ambassadors and leaders- at the Maker Challenge. At the end of the course, one should have completed their project (their invention) and present it to judges at the final celebration, in addition to competing to be chosen for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place on the podium.Maker challenge 1

I attended this programme from the start of September 2022, and I graduated from it on the 10th of December with a competition. By this I mean that, during the programme, I developed and invented a project -just like all other 39 participants- and I presented it through a business pitch to certain judges at the final celebration. The main aim of the programme was to teach us long-term skills which we could then take and apply in our school/work/ lives, hence why I was taught various marvellous skills and did so many activities, such as 3D Printing; Laser cutting; Coding with Arduino; Woodworking; CAD; Electronics, etc. At the start of the programme we were presented with the question, “If you could invent anything, with the right help and materials, what would you create?” and I ended up creating a functioning prototype called PICO, with skills such as woodworking; 3D Printing; CAD etc. Overall, my invention -hypothetically- stops the propagation of fire in ventilated houses, by closing the cavity of air in the case of a fire. We were constantly reminded that ‘no idea is a silly idea’ and that ‘motivation doesn’t have to be justified to be valid’, which I found were the two things that pushed me to complete my project, since being amongst the youngest competitors was slightly intimidating to say the least.

Maker challenge 2

I am so thankful for winning a 3D printer for the 1st place in the Imperial Maker Challenge; for all the ambassadors and leaders that supported me; for all who helped me put my best foot forward; and for having been offered this amazing opportunity. I encourage all young people between the ages of 14- 18 to participate in this programme, even if unsure about certain aspects of it, because you might find the chance of emancipating your creativity really liberating.

 - Martina R (Year 10)

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