The second Beloit-Make48 48-hour competition brought together community leaders, local companies, schools, and organizations for a memorable innovation challenge. Eight teams from Wisconsin took on the task of building a prototype in just 48 hours, and the event was a showcase of creativity, teamwork, and innovation.
The challenge, titled "Panels to Planet-Repower with Purpose," was presented by Alliant Energy, with a focus on pushing the boundaries of solar panel technology and sustainability. The competition took place at The Lincoln Academy, a K4-12 charter school that provides students with exploratory spaces to delve into various disciplines, including music, art, computer science, agriculture, welding, woodworking, and STEM. Matt Schultz, the technology and engineering director at TLA, and Adam Kittrell served as lead tool techs, providing essential support to the competing teams.
A dedicated group of tool techs and volunteers, including Tyler Isaacs, Austin Overton, Nate Zanavich, Cory Roehl, Bobbi Bishofberger, Kyle Lee, Brett Weisensel, Josh Wolff, Joshua Peterson-Droogh, Joshua Droogh, Victoria Roberts, Sydney Felhfer, Mike Verba, Mark Vance, Anthony Swindell, Grace Carragher, Daniel Pico, Joseph Betz, Ty Schnepper, Jen Harnisch, Tami Scott, Avery Rhinerson, Mike Whittaker, and Nancy Clark-Mather, worked tirelessly throughout the weekend, turning the teams' ideas into reality and creating two trophies for the winning teams.
The success of the competition was made possible with the support of companies such as Fastenal, ShopBot Tools, Lincoln Electric, Wagner Spray Tech, Gridlock Table, Kreg, and Epilog, which provided tools and materials.
The Beloit community also rallied behind the event, with residents volunteering their time and support. TLA students and parents, including Jody McKillips, Riley McKillips, Katie McKearn, Drew Pennington, Angelica Chapman-Sykes, Ashley Graves, Timotay Althaus, and Jordan McCauley, played a crucial role in keeping the momentum going.
The collaboration between Beloit and Make48 aimed to strengthen the relationship and prepare a team for the upcoming Nationals competition this November. The event received support from various companies and organizations, including ABC Supply, Hendricks Commercial Properties, Kerry Group Inc., Fairbanks Morse, Visit Beloit, CCI, Hidden Creek Estates, First National Bank, Northstar, Blackhawk Bank, Mid-States Concrete, Harris Ace Hardware, BioForward, Blain's Farm & Fleet, Wet & Forget, Beloit College, Heartland Forward, and Ritchie's Smokin' BBQ.
The city of Beloit will be proudly represented by two outstanding teams at the Nationals competition in North Little Rock this November. These teams will work to create a brand-new product, and you can find more information about the Nationals at https://www.make48.com/nationals-2023-season-7.
Additionally, an episode of the Beloit competition will be featured on the This Old House Makers Channel on Roku later this year. Stay tuned for updates on the release of the City Series episodes. In the meantime, enjoy the highlight reel and join us in cheering on Beloit's teams at Nationals! https://youtu.be/SH9GnV1FUnc?si=6MSOscPI4z4IsfNS