Life Changing


February 25, 2017 - February 26, 2017

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Hackathon + Making = Make-a-thon


Life Changing Labs presents Cornell's second annual Make-A-Thon, bringing together engineers, designers, and business students to hack and build life changing solutions using rapid prototyping techniques. All making will be done in an open collaborative environment to incubate innovative ideas. 

 The event is open to high school students and university students.


February 25-26, 2017
Collegetown eHub
Cornell University, Ithaca NY


Check out the projects from last year (February 19-21, 2016):


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February 25, 2017

8:30am Arrival & Sign-In

9:00am Welcome & Opening Statements

10:00am Hack & Make #1

12:00pm Lunch Break & Guest Speaker #1

1:00pm Hack & Make #2

3:00pm Work Shop

6:00pm Dinner & Guest Speaker #2

7:00pm Hack & Make #3

FEBRUARY 26, 2017

12:00am: Midnight Snack Break

12:30am Hack & Make #4

7:30am Breakfast

10:00am Project Submission

11:00am Pitch Competition

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Frequently asked Questions

How does it work?

You will work in teams of 4-6 hackers to make anything your heart desires. There will be a prompt that gets released at the start of the event to guide all projects and a bunch of prototyping resources and food to keep you fueled. The top 5 university and top 5 high school teams will then have the chance to pitch at the finale of the Make-A-Thon to present their projects.

What is the pitch competition?

After the hacking and building period, we will host a public pitch competition where the top 5 university and top 5 high school teams can present their projects. Pitches should be 3-6 minutes long. We encourage you to invite your friends and family to see what you built, and encourage non-participants to stop by to see all the cool projects and meet their awesome creators.

What hardware will be available?

There will be a bunch of pre-configured base arduino boards to help with accelerated development. A myriad of sensors and rapid prototyping materials - foam, chipboard, etc. - will also be available. Every team will have the opportunity to select what they need.

Who can participate?

All undergraduate and graduate students at Cornell are welcome to apply for the university track, and all local and abroad high school students are welcome to apply for the high school track. Please note, however, that travel reimbursements will not be provided.

I'm a beginner. Can I still apply?

Yes! In fact, we encourage beginners to come and learn! We have a ton of mentors to guide you and will provide tutorials and online resources to cater to your needs. In addition, every participant will receive a welcome packet with specific instructions related to the hardware you will be using at the event. Don't worry!


What should I bring? And What do I build?

We recommend that you bring a laptop (and yourself!) to hack. We will provide everything else that is necessary for the Make-A-Thon so do not worry about bringing anything else. However, if you have a certain set of tools that you like to use, please feel free to bring them as well.

You can build anything you and your team would like! We will provide a prompt and base boards to help accelerate development, but everything else is totally up to you and your team.

How does judging work?

Judges will evaluate the projects and pitches based on their relations to design (how awesome it is), engineering (does it work), and entrepreneurship (how was it pitched and what is its real-world potential). Do not worry! This event is meant to be fun, and all of the judges understand that everything was built over the span of 24 hours. And if you are worried that the judges might not like your project even though students will, fear not as well! Every team will be in the running for a People's Choice Award in which one popular vote winner is selected. There will be more information on this during the event.

How much does this cost?

This event is completely free, and that is including food, drinks, and any necessary materials you will need to hack with! This is all thanks to our amazing sponsors listed below!

This is awesome. Is there anything else I can get involved in?

This event is completely run by students for students. Life Changing Labs is a not-for-profit organization that powers the Cornell entrepreneurship community and offers two amazing summer programs: a ten-week startup program for university students and a three-week educational program for high school students. Please visit for more information about the university program and for more information about the high school program.

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Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding the Make-A-Thon that was not answered in the FAQ above, please get in touch with us through email - We will reply as soon as possible.