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

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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?

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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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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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user

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

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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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patrick panikulam (author)2018-02-09

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

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Super space ninja (author)2018-02-08

How about another Lego contest?

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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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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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AzharRanderee (author)2018-02-05
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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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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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Glumgad (author)Yonatan242018-01-20

Yes, there was the survival contest https://www.instructables.com/contest/survival2015...

But it is not about "toy weapons, wargaming, tank models, etc".

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BrittLiv (author)Glumgad2018-01-20

There was a toy contest a
few years ago which I've won with a Nerf gun. I've also won with one in a
"Maker Olympic". Since Nerf doesn't endorse modifying guns, I doubt they would
sponsor a contest, I would love one though. It would be a nice motivation to get back into the hobby.

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randofo (author)2018-01-18

We have a few things on the site like that. Try search for air muscles. However, it is a little to specific for contest.

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chaaad (author)randofo2018-01-19

HASEL is really new, just introduced in Jan 2018.
They are not just "soft" actuators using traditional pneumatic or hydraulic systems. There is no bulky tubing and there is no compressor/tank hiding under the desk, it only needs electricity.
Performance seems very promising. There is brilliance in its simple design.

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PointyOintment (author)chaaad2018-01-19

I have been thinking about using HASEL in a project. I haven't yet done much reading to figure out if it's actually suitable, though, and it would be a project requiring many skills I don't yet have. But prototypes and other modules of the project won't require all of those skills.

I can't see the original comment in this thread, though, so I'm not sure if you're suggesting a soft actuators contest or something else. All I see is the replies to Danger_Dolan's suggestion of a Nerf contest (+1 from me) and then "randofo (author) > chaaad" with no context.

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random_builder (author)2018-01-17

I think the two most contests I would want are:

K'Nex

and

Model Cars

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randofo (author)random_builder2018-01-18

Thanks for your feedback.

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awall99 (author)2018-01-17

What about a wired science project contest. Something between of building an ant farm and discovering antigravity.

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randofo (author)awall992018-01-17

That's a very wide range! :)

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ProfessorPi (author)2018-01-14

Pets. I would love to see a contest full of things for animals, kinda like the "design for kids" contest but with animals. Maybe with some pet prizes, like dog/cat toys or something.

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randofo (author)ProfessorPi2018-01-15

We haven't run a Pets Contest since 2011. So, I suppose we could consider running another one some time in the future.

What kinds of pets do you have?

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mr electro (author)2018-01-14

I would like to see a "spy" gadgets contest. eg: Hidden bugs, concealed radios, concealed cameras, coding devices etc.

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randofo (author)mr electro2018-01-15

Noted. Thanks for the feedback.

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mtairymd (author)2018-01-12

How about a "follow up" contest? I've posted over 100 projects and most are holding up but a few have totally failed. I've thought about going back and editing them to show "where are they now" but I guess I need some sort of incentive to do the work.

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randofo (author)mtairymd2018-01-12

Hmmm.... I like where you are going with this. I'll add it to the list and mull it over a little.

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ugimail (author)2018-01-11
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SidA2 (author)randofo2018-01-11

Oh yeah... I forgot about that one. I had another idea in mind but it doesn't exactly fall under the usual contest structure. It would be called the "remix" contest" and you need to reference another instructable and modify it in some way. For example, getting inspiration from an instructable on how to make a brownie and remixing that into one on how to make a layered cake.

I feel like it would encourage people to try out new things, which is part of what instructables is about. A downside would be that there are so many different projects out here that almost anything could be considered a remix of something else. There would need to be a way to limit the instructables you could remix while keeping the choices broad.

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randofo (author)SidA22018-01-11

We ran that contest 3 times over the years.

https://www.instructables.com/contest/remix2016/

You are good at picking winners! :)

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chemlite (author)2018-01-10

How about an Aircrete contest?

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randofo (author)chemlite2018-01-10

That is more specific than we normally get with contests, but we have run concrete contests in the past. We will keep your feedback in mind.

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Glumgad (author)2017-11-20

What about a "weekend project contest"?

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randofo (author)Glumgad2018-01-08

We likely won't be running that contest exactly. However, I do hear what you are saying about wanting to see more projects on the site which can be completed quickly, and this is something we are keeping in mind when designing the 2018 contest calendar.

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Yonatan24 (author)Glumgad2017-11-21

I think that's just not specific enough.

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Glumgad (author)Yonatan242017-11-21

Let me explain my idea.

I appreciate Instructables as a great place where I can learn smth new or be inspired by others (and probably I may teach or inspire someone).

Otherwise, there are a lot of projects, which needs great efforts. They are awesome, and I respect their authors. But, I hardly ever will make after them.

So it would be very interesting for me to look at a bunch of projects, which are time-limited, and which I can remake and improve.

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