Frequently Asked Questions



How does it work?

Over the course of 3 days, you will work in teams of 5 to create a solution for an issue your group is passionate about. A prompt will be released at the start of the event to guide all projects. We will provide everything you need in order to hack/make—from prototyping resources to food. On the last day, all projects will be mounted for exhibition at the UNLV Architecture Studies Library. Additionally, the top 5 teams will pitch their projects at the Make-A-Thon Pitch Competition + Finale for the opportunity to win various prizes.

What is the pitch competition?

After the hacking and making period, we will host a public pitch competition where the top 5 teams can present their projects. We encourage you to invite your friends and family to see what you designed, and encourage non-participants to stop by to see all the projects and meet their creators.

What materials and hardware will be available?

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

Who can participate?

We welcome all undergraduate and graduate students that are interested in participating, to apply. If interest is larger than spots available, we will be using a lottery to select participants. 

I am a beginner. Can I still apply?

Yes! In fact, we encourage students at all stages of expertise to apply. We will have various mentors available to guide and support all the teams. Workshops and Guest Talks will also provide tutorials and introduce online resources to aid in the development and execution of your projects.

Furthermore, every participant will receive a welcome packet with specific instructions and procedures related to the event (such as the hardware you will be using). So, don't worry!

What should I bring?

We recommend that you bring a laptop + charger to hack. We will provide everything else that is necessary for the Make-A-Thon, so no significant additional materials are necessary. However, if you have a certain set of tools that you like to use, please feel free to bring those as well.

What do I hack/make?

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

How does judging work?

Judges will evaluate the projects and pitches based on their relationship to design (how awesome it is), engineering (does it work), and entrepreneurship (how was it pitched and what is its real-world potential). But don't worry! This event is meant to be fun, and all of the judges understand that everything will have been made 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 eligible for a People's Choice Award in which one popular vote winner is selected. There will be more information available during the event.

How much does this cost?

This event is completely free, and participation includes all meals, snacks, and necessary materials you will need to hack/make with! This is all thanks to our amazing partners listed below!

This is awesome! Who are the organizers?

This event is made possible by the efforts of the Las Vegas and Boston Hubs of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community.


What are the Global Shapers and can I get involved?

Born out of the World Economic Forum, the Global Shapers Community is a network of inspiring young people under the age of 30 working together to address local, regional and global challenges. We strive to drive dialogue, action and change. All event participants will be eligible to apply for membership to the Las Vegas Hub of the Global Shapers.

I have more questions. Who do I ask?

If you have any additional questions regarding the Las Vegas Make-A-Thon that were not answered in the FAQ above, please get in touch with us via the contact form below. We will reply as soon as possible.