Click Bond Sponsors First-Ever Makerthon at the Unversity of Nevada, Reno Innevation Center
America’s manufacturing industry has an acute need for workers to help us address some of society’s greatest challenges. In response, University of Nevada, Reno’s Innevation Center established the first-ever Makerthon to identify some of this area’s up-and-coming manufacturing talent and give them an opportunity to try their hand at solving real-world problems. Click Bond was fortunate to participate in this unique event as its sponsor.
Makerthon 2021, which took place March 12-14, was a 48-hour event in which competing student teams addressed a challenge faced by the world or a specific industry. The teams then had just two days to research and define their problem, innovate a product to solve it, create a prototype of the product, and pitch its marketability and feasibility to a panel of judges.
As part of our sponsorship, several Click Bonders dedicated their time, resources, and feedback to the students. Not only that, but Click Bond’s engineering team, inspired by real challenges faced in the marine market, formulated the challenge given to all teams: “to create a product to assist with underwater maintenance, repair, or construction.”
The Makerthon took place at the Innevation Center, though with limited access and rigorous COVID safety measures in place. In addition to Innevation Center organizers, a number of mentors were on hand throughout the weekend to assist the student teams in honing their ideas, building prototypes, offering feedback on pitches, and more. Among these mentors were four of Click Bond’s own engineers: Bill Perez, Andrew Kapcyzynski, Logan Krantz, and Scott Lenfesty. Additionally, Director, Field Application Engineer John Elverum served as one of the three judges, and opening remarks for the event were delivered by our President and CEO Karl Hutter.
The three student teams who competed were:
1) students from Reno High School, 2) undergraduate students from UNR, and 3) graduate students from UNR.
While all students’ contributions were impressive, the judges ultimately awarded the $1,000 prize to the Reno High team for “The Clam Clamp,” a simple approach to patching underwater pipe leaks. As Bill Perez explained, it was truly inspiring to watch the students work together to solve the problem, but the Reno High team truly stood out.
“In the end,” Bill said, “it was the simple solution that won the entire competition. It just reminds me that stepping back and re-evaluating a problem while trying not to overcomplicate it may be the best option to solve it.”
Thanks to all who put in long hours and lent their expertise to assist this first-ever event!