Updated: May 22
By Matthew De Venecia
Have you ever had an idea or found a problem related to health that you wanted to solve, but didn’t know where to start? Did you not have the resources to create your idea?
The Health Maker Lab at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine is seeking to break these barriers by giving everybody a chance to bring their ideas to life. With the launch of the third annual Health Make-A-Thon this Spring, the Health Maker Lab is once again providing community members a chance to win a Health Maker Lab coin. This coin provides access to $10,000 worth of resources at the University of Illinois. With this, you can create anything from microbiological structures to building designs and robots by using state-of the-art equipment while being guided by knowledgeable mentors at the U of I. The best part about it is that you don’t need any skills and you don’t need any pre-built contraption to apply; all you need is an idea that you’re passionate about to have a chance to win!
We’re excited to know that some of the University of Illinois’ Nobel Project staff and participants applied to this year’s Health Make-A-Thon. Molly Galloway pitched an idea to train more Black mental health workers in the community and Samuel Traconis suggested creating mobile therapy units. Adam DeLong suggested a better way to distribute the COVID-19 Vaccine while Diana Rivas thought of using natural medicines to improve care for sick patients. Matthew De Venecia applied with the idea to create an artificial intelligence assistant for social workers, and Malik Ali Muhammad wants to permeate public spaces with music to decrease community stress levels. What’s more is that Matthew and Malik are both finalists for this year’s competition! These two along with eighteen other teams will present their ideas in a short two minute presentation while U of I professionals and audience members judge them to pick ten teams to receive a Health Maker Lab coin.
Images from a previous Health-Make-A-Thon event and the submitted ideas
As you can see, the Health Make-A-Thon accepts ideas from all people of all ages and backgrounds. If you’re reading this, then know that you have something amazing that only you can bring to the world because of your own unique experiences. The Health Make-A-Thon is a wonderful opportunity that you can use to speed up the process! Be on the lookout for ideas that solve problems you’re passionate about and know that the Health Make-A-Thon next year will be waiting for you. To find more information on how to apply, make sure to keep an eye on healthmakerlab.medicine.illinois.edu to learn when registration opens again. In the meantime, feel free to watch this year’s competition on the Saturday, April 17th from 2pm - 5pm Central Time to see what it’s all about!