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What kinds of contests do YOU want to see on Instructables? Answered

Hi everyone! As we're planning contests for the next year, we wanted to get suggestions and feedback on the types of contests we're running. :D

Is there a contest we ran years ago you'd like to see again?
Any contests you're sick of?
A weekly challenge you'd like us to expand on?
Do you want the contests to be more specific or more open ended?

We're trying to shake things up in contest-land - so any and all suggestions are welcome! I'm especially interested in what types of tech contests you guys would like to see, as well as ideas for food contests. 

P.S. For anyone wondering about weekly challenges - we're still trying to figure out a way to do it that makes it easy for you guys to enter and easy for the editors here to run. But I promise we are discussing it! :)

Have prize suggestions? Check this topic.
Want to get a preview of some of our upcoming contests?

50 Replies

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wannabemadsci (author)2018-04-17

Game contest for board or family related games or items

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lglira (author)2018-04-16

Soft robotics and soft mechanisms

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randofo (author)lglira2018-04-16

I'm not sure there would be enough participation if I ran those contest. Although, we have a Casting Challenge coming up in a few weeks and I think that soft robots would work for that challenge (assuming you are casting your own soft robot parts).

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CraftAndu (author)2018-04-16

Some sort of lazy/cozy/couchpotato contest? Something that makes your life more relaxed at home? I got one nice project up my sleeve ;)

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wannabemadsci (author)2018-04-12

"Make it Fly" was always fun.

Also, how about an "Old School Electronics" without micro controllers; no Arduinos or Pi's allowed!

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amackay (author)2018-02-23

How about one for turning / lathes / carving?

Or, how about a "new skill" contest?

Admittedly I'm a bit biased - I just recently pick up a lathe and I'm just in the process of figuring out how to use it. :)

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randofo (author)amackay2018-03-14

A turning contest is probably a bit too niche for our site, but there are lots of contests you could enter.

New Skill on the other hand is a bit too broad and maybe difficult for us to evaluate. We get a lot of entries into many contests where people show off new skills that they have learned. We highly encourage you (and everyone!) to learn new skills, but I am not sure we can run a contest around it.

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amackay (author)randofo2018-03-14

No worries here

I tend to come up with "something" whenever I try to learning new stuff as part of the process

I just need to keep an eye out for what's coming up on the calendar and see what jumps out at me :)

Cheers!

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Vyger (author)2018-02-08

I just looked up the numbers and the "experts" are saying that 1/3 of Americans are sleep deprived. So what you need to have is a sleep contest.
Anything related to sleep, like places, nests, methods, things that help like white noise. And you could even have sub categories like sleeping at work, sleeping in the car, napping, sleeping while traveling. You get the idea. People spend a large part of their life doing it, so have a contest about it.

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randofo (author)Vyger2018-03-14

If people are so busy sleeping, when are they going to make their Instructable?! ;)

I'll add this idea to the suggestions list.

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Anna-Grace (author)2018-02-22
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randofo (author)PinchOfChili2018-03-14

We were thinking about some sort of similar challenge perhaps later in the year. Stay tuned.

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wannabemadsci (author)2018-03-09

Pi Day 3-14 - I guess for next year. Two categories Pie and Non-edible Pi

I miss the old Pi Day contests!

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randofo (author)wannabemadsci2018-03-14

Well... today is Pi Day, and no contest. The problem with Pi Day contests is that we have so many pies already on the site. It is hard to keep getting exciting pie projects year after year. We try to celebrate Pi Days in other ways on the site, and encourage everyone else to celebrate Pi Day as well.

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AnrikD (author)2018-03-06

Build a better mouse/rat trap and bait contest.

- Invent a new trap or hack an existing trap to make it
better and safer to use.

- Come up with a cheap irresistible bait recipe.

I've purchased and used pretty much every trap there is, and
they all have their pros and cons.

The strike rate of some traps is appalling! Plus when used
outside in the elements the traps become even less effective and quickly
degrade.

Let’s use the power off the group to come up with something
better than the current commercially available traps.

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randofo (author)AnrikD2018-03-14

It sounds like you need an exterminator more than a new contest! ;)

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ProfessorPi (author)2018-02-25

A cheap builds contest, where everything has to be under a budget, like $20 or something. Also with restrictions on really expensive tools like lathes because that would bve over the budget too.

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randofo (author)ProfessorPi2018-03-14

Hmmmm. This is an interesting idea. It might be hard to moderate, but I'll add it to the suggestion list.

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javgarcia (author)2018-02-13

I think that it could be very useful if you organize a contest about physics modeling.
Nowadays, students should try to understand how is generated a electromagnetic field or how is constructed a dc motor with 2d graphics. I'm sure that if 3d models were avalaible, the teaching in homes, schools and universities would be some much better.

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randofo (author)javgarcia2018-03-14

Thanks for your feedback. I'll add it to the suggestions list.

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patrick panikulam (author)2018-02-09

What about a portable speaker or boombox contest?!!!

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user

Participation in a contest like this has historically been low. There are lots of contests you can enter a project like this into though!

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Super space ninja (author)2018-02-08

How about another Lego contest?

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user

"Building Blocks" is on our radar. Unclear if it will launch this year. Thanks for your suggestion though.

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ProfessorPi (author)2018-02-07

April Fool's Day contest. I'd love to see interesting pranks people come up with.

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randofo (author)ProfessorPi2018-03-14

We still might run a pranks challenge this year, but not for April Fools. Pranks are an all year affair as far as I am concerned. :)

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AzharRanderee (author)2018-02-05
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randofo (author)AzharRanderee2018-03-14

Thanks for your feedback. We run those occasionally (last year, in fact). I am not sure we will be running one this year though.

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-NinjaPenguin (author)2018-02-03

@randofo Can we have the pocket-sized contest again? I didn't enter but it looks super cool.

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randofo (author)-NinjaPenguin2018-03-14

Yes! It is currently running.

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Glumgad (author)2017-12-16

Spotless contest: all about cleaning or washing.

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PointyOintment (author)2018-01-12

Reworking the contest schedule? Sounds like the perfect time to suggest a bunch more contest ideas (possibly throwing a wrench into it)!

New ideas (AFAIK):

Electronics Repair - Self-explanatory

Power Electronics - There was the Power Supply Contest last year, but I want to see other things like audio amplifiers and motor drivers.

Opposites - Do something by a process that involves its 'opposite'. For example, create ice using fire, or create fire using water.

Electric Vehicles - Self-explanatory

Information Security - How to defend yourself/your organization from hackers. How to perform a penetration test to see if you're defending yourself well. How to write secure programs. Various hacking and mitigation techniques.

Homemade Alternatives - Create your own version of an expensive commercial product, or of a commercial product that doesn't quite meet your needs.

Good Engineering - Do anything you want, but apply good engineering principles and practices, and use your project to teach engineering.

Weather/Meteorology - Self-explanatory

Seasonal Opportunities - Projects involving something that's advantageous at a certain time of year. For example, a project involving cheap candy bought the day after Halloween, or a project using solar garden lights that are only sold in the summer (even if it's not a summer project).

Design for Space Exploration (Design Challenge) - Design a spacecraft for space exploration. Not sure who would sponsor this—maybe one of the CubeSat component suppliers, or a company like Astrobotic?

Some contests that have been run before, but that I would be really happy to see again:

Makerspace - I was planning to lead my space's team this year. We haven't entered in the past.

Winterization - Was done back in 2014

Explore Science - 2015 and 2017, so should I expect it again in 2019?

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user

+1 on the Opposites and the Homemade Alternatives, I particularly like these ideas!

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user

I did not get to enter the Makerspace contest last year. I would love to see that again.

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Glumgad (author)PointyOintment2018-01-12

I suppose, Information Security is quite fresh idea.

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randofo (author)PointyOintment2018-01-12

Thanks for the feedback! I'll add all of these these to the ongoing idea list. I particularly think Opposites could be fun.

In terms of Good Engineering, I thought that was the goal of all the projects? ;)

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mtairymd (author)randofo2018-01-12

Not all with respect to good engineering. I've seen more than a few on here that were deadly...think fan powered bikes :).

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Grace Carnegie (author)2018-01-26

It would be nice if you guys could put some food contests on. It's been a really long time since we had any. I personally would really like an Asian food contest. Anyone else?

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Danger_Dolan (author)2018-01-18

the contest i think would be cool would be a nerf contest. this could consist of mods for nerf guns, tips for nerf wars, and general nerf stuff! i think this could be really cool! and the winner could get a bunch of free nerf swag!

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Glumgad (author)Danger_Dolan2018-01-18

Btw, I didn't remember any "war" or "military" contest. Toy weapons, wargaming, tank models, etc

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Yonatan24 (author)Glumgad2018-01-18

"Weapons & Survival Contest"?

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Glumgad (author)Yonatan242018-01-19

what are you talking about? I didn't find it in the contest archive.

Anyway it sounds too serious, the Danger_Dolan's idea was about a nerf and I just make it a bit wider.

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Yonatan24 (author)Glumgad2018-01-20

I never wrote anything about the contest archive. But I believe there was a survival contest a few years ago. I think in the summer of 2015.

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Yonatan24 (author)Yonatan242018-01-21

I think there was olso a knives and weapons contest at the end of 2016

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