Congratulations to the winners of the Spring ’23 NOVA Fab Lab Design Challenge!
The theme for this semester was Upcycling, where we challenged college, high school, and middle school students to use their innovative skills to design a product that reuses discarded objects or materials to create a product of usefulness and quality.
Grand prize winners Anirudh Holavanahalli, Rohan Matta, and Ajay Penugonda designed tires into a functional bookshelf, called “HigherTire”. They were awarded $1000 to split and their product was fabricated by the Fab Lab staff.
Anirudh Holavanahalli reflected “I like the concept of the design challenge and I’m also happy with the design that we as a team created. We reused old tires and added some wood and mechanics. I really like how the design looks, it’s hard to create. [The fabrication] looks exact and identical.
Mary Ratcliff, one of our Fab Lab Coordinators, started at NOVA in the fall and from week one was involved in conceptualizing the upcycling idea for the challenge and spearheading the logistics of communicating with participants and fabricating the product alongside Fab Lab Coordinator Richard Sewell and technician David Burn.
Ratcliff said “the Spring Design Challenge Awards Ceremony was a celebration of creativity, innovation, and resourcefulness. Winners from middle school, high school, and post-secondary divisions were honored for their imaginative, yet practical applications of upcycling. Wood pallets, CDs, and plastic bottles were just a few of the transformed materials incorporated into the winning designs. Congratulations to all Spring Design Challenge participants!”
One of the judges, John Hicks, owner of Fillagreen, loved the sustainability potential for upcycled products and reflected on his involvement:
“It was a great experience to see the creativity and thought leaders in today’s students. I look forward to seeing the great positive impact these participants will make on the world! Sustainability is within reach and is attainable through small steps.”
We will be announcing our next Fab Lab Design Challenge in the Fall. For updates sign up for our monthly IET Newsletter at newsletter.novastem.us