Since its beginning in 2013, the ocMaker Challenge inspires our schools and community with deeply innovative student inventions that are designed to “solve a problem, need or want.” And this year’s ocMaker Challenge certainly did not disappoint. With over 200 entries, this year was the event’s largest ever and the impressive levels of sophistication and innovation are seen in the projects submitted by the ocMaker Challenge 2017 winners.
‘Most Innovative’ Inventions
Every year, special awards are issued for ocMaker Challenge participants. In the “Most Innovative” category for the Middle School Division, a team from Walker Junior High School in La Palma, CA won with their Programmable Battery Charger. Designed to solve the problem of ruining cell phone batteries by overcharging, the Programmable Battery Charger allows users to control the amount of time and the percentage at which a phone is charged.
In the High School Division, Urja Patel, a student from Sunny Hills High School in Fullerton, CA, won with her fun and ingenious project, Retractable Heels. Designed for the woman-on-the-go, Retractable Heels are exactly what they sound like: high heels that retract to offer flat, mid, and high heel heights depending on your needs.
For the Most Innovative award in the College Division, Saddleback College’s team took the prize with their project SMARTFISHING. The incredible invention empowers fishing enthusiasts to cast beyond breaking waves using a drone to carry their lure.
‘Most Socially Conscious’ Invention
Every year, a prize is awarded to the project that most powerfully addresses a social issue. This year, a team from Marina High School in Huntington Beach, CA took home the “Most Socially Conscious” award with their invention, Public Trash. A solution to our growing problem of excessive waste in landfills, Public Trash is a system that senses when a garbage bag is full, then automatically compacts the trash and replaces the bag.
ocMaker Challenge 2017 Winners
Congratulations to ALL participants in this year’s ocMaker Challenge! Here’s who took home top place in each level:
Anna Tran and Vanessa Nava
La Quinta High School
Garden Grove Unified School District
When you’re low on space, but need to stay glamorous, the Magnetique Brush features a makeup brush handle with swappable brush heads.
Jacob Mills, Makahna San Nicolas
Kelsey Nguyen and Jon Nguyen
Marina High School
Huntington Beach Union High School District
Public Trash helps save the environment by offering an automated solution for compacting and managing garbage and waste.
Level 3: Aqua Alarm
Aydan Azzara, Cassidy Hall, Brianna Rizo, and Joanna Walters
Walker Junior High School
Anaheim Union High School District
If you have problems getting out of bed in the morning, the Aqua Alarm douses you with water until you get up.
Espen Garner and Logan Wojcik
St. Margaret’s Episcopal School
The Buzz Trap seeks to reduce disease by trapping mosquitoes in remote locations in order to test them for viruses.
See you next year!
As with any worthwhile endeavor, it’s not about whether you win or lose, it’s about how much you learned from playing the game. The ocMaker Challenge is an integrated STEM design competition that teaches kids about the engineering design process in a fun, exciting, and engaging way — and hopefully inspires those kids to pursue STEM careers someday.
As a community, this is vital to us because we are training our future workforce and striving to empower them with the knowledge and skills needed to carry on our nation’s role as a world leader in technology and innovation.
If you are a teacher in Orange County, CA, please join us and participate in this incredible event. If you’re interested in learning how to register, please contact the Orange County Department of Education’s Career Technical Education Partnership.
Not in Orange County? No problem! To learn more about hosting your own maker challenge, please contact us at (949)478-2933 or at firstname.lastname@example.org