Make for the Planet
April 21-23, 2017
Washington, D.C.


The Event: Make for the planet


If you are you a hacker, coder, maker, engineer, designer, entrepreneur, creative thinker or tinkerer, come celebrate Earth Day weekend 2017 by creating solutions to challenging conservation problems in front of a global audience! Multidisciplinary teams will compete in an on-site event called Make for the Planet over three days of the Smithsonian Institution's Earth Optimism Summit in Washington, D.C. (April 21-23, 2017). Teams will have access to a pop-up maker's space with equipment to create prototypes and models of hardware and/or software solutions to specific conservation problem. Registration is now closed.


Where: Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.  

When: Morning of April 21 through the afternoon of April 23, 2017 (Agenda TBD).

What: Team competition/hackathon to create hardware and/or software solutions to specific conservation challenges. Teams will also have access to a pop-up maker's space with 3D printers, controllers, sensors, model-making software, and other equipment.

How: Conservation X Labs will send teams a set of predefined conservation challenges two weeks before the event (Friday, April 7th) and global conservation experts will pitch the problems in Washington, D.C. on Friday, April 21st to kick-off the event. Teams will have until the morning of April 23rd to create solutions for display in a science-fair setting for viewing by judges, the public, and other Smithsonian Earth Optimism attendees. Solutions must be presented as a physical or digital representation and more than a written explanation or pitch. We expect teams to create solutions for one of the proposed conservation challenges using the equipment provided on-site over rather than bringing a pre-baked solution.    

Who: Multidisciplinary teams of 4 in 15 teams. There are no restrictions on age, occupation, education, or gender. However, due to space limitations, we can only accept 15 teams of 4 in the event, thus, participation will be highly competitive! We will select teams based on organizational and disciplinary diversity as well as a genuine interest in solving global conservation challenges through creative and transformative solutions that harness emerging science and technology, entrepreneurship, and design.

DNA Barcode hack in action 1.png


We encourage institutions to host your own conservation technology Make for the Planet. If you want to host your own event, sign up here




Do you want to mentor teams? If you will be in Washington, D.C. April 21-23, and you are an engineer, scientist, or a tech guru, consider signing up HERE to mentor teams



Team registration is now closed.



Registration fees for the invited teams will be waived. 



We will update this site with an equipment list, conservation challenges, and more information for the teams closer to Make for the Planet.

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