Design Challengers capture record $10,000 in prizes

A futurist motorcycle and a prehistoric mechatronic dinosaur captured the top prizes during the 10th Annual West Virginia Makes Festival Oct. 6 on the campus of Marshall University in Huntington. The Marshall Advanced Manufacturing Center (MAMC) awarded a record $10,000 in cash to makers of all ages during the annual celebration of creativity and ingenuity.

“It was inspiring to see the level of innovation and raw talent on display during this year’s festival,” said MAMC’s Kara Mullins, the event organizer. “We’re proud that with the support of our sponsor West Virginia American Water we were able to honor these homegrown makers with the largest cash awards to date.”

The 2023 West Virginia Makes Design Challenge winners are:

Adult Category
First Place ($5,000) – Evan Stewart of Buckhannon and Tom Stewart of Charleston for Phase 3 One, their one-of-a-kind electric recumbent motorcycle capable of traveling 150 miles per charge and reaching speeds of up to 100 mph.
Second Place ($2,500) – Tanner Foster of the Putnam County Career and Technical Center for his wearable 3D-printed Iron Man Mask with LED eyes and a retractable faceplate
Third Place ($1,000) – Eric Holstine of EH Artwork of Charleston for his Steampunk dual alarm clock/lamp made from recycled materials

Youth Category
First Place ($1,000) – Nate Bowen of Huntington for Paleo Mechatronics, a life-size moveable dinosaur controlled by pneumatics
Second Place ($500) – Adithi Balasubramanian and Humna Cheema of Barboursville Middle School for Star Card, a “credit” card and app that allow teachers to reward students’ good behavior and assign points that students can redeem at the school store
Third Place ($250) – Addison Pauley and Paxton Hafertepen from Barboursville Middle School for Pillow Binder, a note binder that doubles as a memory foam pillow

People’s Choice Award ($500) – Panther Robotics team from DuPont Middle School for a competitive robot they built and programmed. The award was determined by festival attendees’ votes.

Oct. 30, 2023

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