What is The Maker Games?

The Maker Games is a rapid prototyping competition open to all UNSW undergraduate students. The competition is based on solving real-world challenges developed by industry partners. It is designed to showcase the skills and creativity of UNSW undergraduate students, the innovators of the future.

The Maker Games is held in two stages:


Stage One – April to June

When eligible UNSW students (those students who have completed a minimum of 96 units of credit by the beginning of Semester Two) register for The Maker Games they receive a Moodle Course Code and a link to a Student Info Pack.

Entrants can then review the real-world challenges provided by industry partners.

Having selected a challenge they wish to attempt to solve, entrants form into teams of 4-5 cross-disciplinary members and start working together on a challenge pitch. The purpose of the challenge pitch is to convince a panel of industry representatives and UNSW academic staff to allocate the team to an industry challenge. Only one team is allocated to each industry challenge. The team pitch is submitted on Moodle as a 90 second video and two-page summary.

Teams who are successful with their pitch and are allocated to a challenge proceed to Stage Two of The Maker Games. Teams who pitch unsuccessfully do not progress to Stage Two.


Stage Two – July to October

The successful teams will enrol in course ENGG4060 (a minimum of three members per team must enrol in this course). Team members then work with their industry and entrepreneur mentors and UNSW academic staff to develop their solution to the industry challenge. An integral part of the Maker Games  is to design and build a working prototype of the challenge solution to present at The Maker Games Showcase at the end of Semester Two in October. The winning team will be announced at the Showcase event.

During Semester Two there will be mentoring sessions, a hack-a-thon and technical workshops to help students build their working prototype.

Once each team member has completed the MCIC shop tools induction they will have access to the various Makerspaces across campus to build their prototype.

Shop tools induction link

Can students earn course credit for participating in The Maker Games?

  • If a team progresses to Stage Two, team members can enroll in ENGG4060 Student-initiated projects course (6 UoC) which can count as a discipline elective course. A minimum of three students in the team must enroll in ENGG4060 for Semester Two.


Forming a team for The Maker Games

  • Students are to form cross-disciplinary teams of 4-5 who have completed 96UOC by Semester Two 2018
  • If a team’s pitch is accepted to progress to Stage Two of the competition, a minimum of three students in the team must enroll in ENGG4060 for Semester Two
  • The Michael Crouch Innovation Centre (MCIC) will be hosting several team-forming events in April and entrants are encouraged to attend
  • The deadline to form and register a team is the conclusion of the MCIC event on the evening of the 30 April


Deadline for submitting a challenge pitch

Pitches must consist of a 90 second video and a maximum two-page brief which are to be submitted via the Moodle.

The deadline is 11:59pm AEST Sunday 20 May 2018


The winning challenge pitches will be announced via EngSoc Newsletter ENGScope on Tuesday 29 May.


What’s in it for students?

The Maker Games offers students the opportunity to:

  • Learn about innovation, product development and design thinking
  • Attend industry and UNSW expert workshops and mentoring sessions
  • Build connections with industry partners who employ graduates and fund start-ups
  • Win an all expenses trip to The USA to visit the booming start-up community


How do students gain access to the industry Challenges?

After registering, students will receive an email with the Moodle Course Code where they will be able to see all the industry Challenges. The email will also contain a link to The Maker Games Info Pack, which will contain useful information about the competition.


Where will The Maker Games take place?

The Maker Games will be hosted at the UNSW Kensington and Art and Design Paddington campus. Students will have access to makerspaces to build their prototypes, but they must complete their shop tools inductions first.


Who pays for the prototypes?

Each team has a budget of $300 to build their prototype. Students can claim this money by presenting a valid tax invoice(s) to the Faculty of Engineering.


Register for shop tools inductions    

Judging criteria 

Indicative judging criteria for Stage 1:

  • Clarity and precision of the problem statement
  • Motivation of problem/opportunity and need for solution
  • Breadth and understanding of competitors, market and related solutions
  • Understanding of relevant background technical knowledge
  • Innovativeness of concept
  • Consideration of alternative designs/reasoning behind choices made
  • Detail in proposed design
  • Business case
  • Fluency, logic and persuasiveness of presentation
  • Effective use of visuals
  • A killer closing line

Stage 2

Indicative judging criteria for Stage 2:

  • explanation of motivation, problem and operating environment for solution
  • a solution realised with well-reasoned and effective use of engineering methods from a Year 3 level or above
  • demonstration of a prototype that addresses the problem statement
  • prototype design, aesthetics and consideration of end-user
  • business case
  • competitor/market analysis
  • evaluation of prototype for technical performance and value for the customer
  • answers to questions that demonstrate knowledge of the problem and solution
  • teamwork and coherence of group presentation.

Click here for Terms and conditions


“The Maker Games was a wonderful opportunity to work on challenging real-world problems with a multi-disciplinary team. My personal highlights include engaging with highly skilled industry mentors and gaining an insight into the exciting world of start-up companies.”

Zoe Marandos
Mechatronic Engineering/Neuroscience

“Maker Games allowed me to put my design and manufacturing skills to a project that has a significant impact on real life scenarios. It also gave me the chance to get connected with industry partners. ”

Michael Wu
Computational Design student

“Maker Games was amazing for me because it was my first real contact with industry. Having a professional with 20 years of experience not only stop and listen to you, but also appreciate your idea and assist with turning it into a commercial deployment, is an experience like no other and one I would not have had without the Maker Games.”

Nicholai Rank
Software Engineering student

“We had an extremely positive experience from our involvement in the Maker Games last year. For us, the Maker Games was an opportunity to support our drive for an innovative and future-proofed product range. Having the fresh eyes of the students gave us a lot to think about, and the quality of work that we received was outstanding. It was a pleasure to be part of this initiative. We will definitely be signing up for the next round of Maker Games when it comes around this year.”

Andrew Larkin
Senior Mechanical Design Engineer, Philips

“We found Makers Games a fantastic opportunity for both our talented students to demonstrate creativity and enjoy competitive team work on creating a meaningful innovation for the society, and for industry to meet them, connect and open opportunities to support their education and future career goals.”

Ratko Milosavljevic

“We weren’t originally sure whether our business activity suited such a challenge but we wanted to make a commitment to the students. So we shared with the students some problems we had identified, based on user observation and customer feedback. Once we began working closely with them, we were enormously impressed by the university’s dedication and the passion of the students. The students showed fantastic real team spirit and a true entrepreneurial attitude. We all took so much out of this experience that we are still, long after the Maker Games ended, looking for some time to go on cooperating with the student team.”

Matthieu Germain
Technical Manager for Private Brands, REBEL

“It was great to be involved in the UNSW Maker Games.  It was particularly eye-opening to see the students take our real world challenge and apply new big data and deep learning concepts to help us develop strategies to reduce our energy usage.”

Rob Sullivan
Chief of Staff to the Chief Operations Officer, Telstra Operations

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