In this final challenge, present a game plan for how you would construct James Develin's gym. You must make it work for the environment, the surrounding community, and his budget.

You can create your own new design, use one that you previously submitted to the contest, or reference a design that was submitted to the contest by someone else. If you are referencing the work of others, be sure you have permission and give proper attribution based on the license. (See official contest rules for more information.) You’ll need to write a detailed plan with illustrations that makes a compelling case for your chosen design and why it is also the most constructible.

You will:

1. Place the building in a specific site.
2. Describe the three main building systems: structural, exterior wall, and roofing.
3. Communicate construction phasing for building the design.
4. Forecast the rough cost or budget.

You can find additional resources to support you in this challenge in this folder.

At the start of the “Make It Big” webinar series, James invited students to use the design thinking process to help him reimagine what’s possible for health and fitness. James shared his vision for a new training and rehabilitation facility that inspires wellness through inventive uses of space. In response to the challenge, students played with ideas and submitted imaginative architectural designs meant to help James tell his story and describe his vision. Next, students used an engineering mindset and computational thinking to help James refine his vision.

Now, it is time to evaluate the designs that have been submitted thus far to this contest and choose the one that you think is most fit to build. One of our previous entrants has also graciously offered the digital file of their gym if you would like to use it in this challenge (feel free to copy and tinker this design.) To illustrate your thinking, you may reference an existing design or create your own that builds upon an existing design—for example, a virtual mockup that shows how the roof connects to the wall, or a construction site logistics plan which places the design in an actual location. You may also consider making a physical scale model. Previous design challenge submissions can be found here:
The winners will demonstrate strong construction project management skills by providing a thorough analysis that accounts for safety, detail, planning, and sustainability.

To get a sense of the kind of gym James wants to build we strongly encourage you to enroll in the "Make It Big" webinar series where James will share his vision and you will learn how to use tools that will help you in your design. Recordings of each webinar will appear on this YouTube playlist when they become available. For more information about what grand prize winners can win with their gift card, please visit this CDW prize gallery.


Projects should:

• Be created using one or more Autodesk products, such as Tinkercad, Fusion 360, FormIt, AutoCAD, NavisWorks, and/or Revit.
• Include both text and images.
• Be presented in the form of an Instructable documenting your process and finished work. You can find best practices on creating Instructables here.

Each area of the challenge will be assessed based upon the following criteria:

How well does the student product demonstrate attention to safety? This could include all phases of construction into occupancy. The plan may discuss:

• Construction site logistics (muster point, site trailer, site fence, delivery zone, etc..)
• Use of signage
• Selection of building materials (such as non-slip)
• Occupancy plan including security and COVID protocols
• Adherence to relevant codes and standards (see below)

DETAIL (25%)
How clearly and convincingly does the student product demonstrate attention to detail? The plan may include:

• A virtual mockup, such as roof meets wall
• A 3D assembly of masonry detail
• An illustration of framing concepts
• Load calculations (for example, dead loads, live loads, conditional loads such as weather, etc.)
• A physical scale model

How effectively does the student product show attention to planning? The plan may include:

• An effort to detect clashes in parts of the building that are interfering with one another (plumbing, walls, etc.)
• Quantity take-off with floor plans
• ADA compliance analysis
• Functional analysis (for example, regarding clearance for equipment usage, durability of materials for impact and wear, acoustics, etc.)
• Building program with descriptions of areas with square footage and diagrams

How compellingly does the student product address issues of sustainability, regarding the environment, affordability, and the lives of workers? The plan may include:

• A construction schedule that outlines project timeframes and milestones
• A budget that accounts for categories such as site work, foundation, structure, exterior facade, roof, MEP, furniture, finishes & equipment, landscaping, etc.
• Environmental impact report on the specific site
• Selection and sourcing of eco-friendly building materials and water- and energy- efficient equipment
• Adherence to relevant codes and standards (see below)


The following agencies and organizations have developed codes and standards affecting the design of physical fitness spaces types. Note that the codes and standards are minimum requirements. Architects, engineers, and consultants should consider exceeding the applicable requirements whenever possible:

Participants must be students between the ages of 13 and 19; students must be currently enrolled in an elementary or secondary school. Thirteen student prize recipients will be chosen for this contest with three grand prize winners and 10 runner up winners; each grand prize winner will win a prize that is worth approximately $500 in value; each runner up winner will receive an Instructables Prize Pack that is worth approximately $50 in value.

The Contest begins at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Time (PT) on April 26, 2021 (“Start Date”). Entries for the Contest must be received by Sponsor by 11:59 p.m. PT on June 21, 2021 (the “Deadline”). The winners will be selected on or about June 25, 2021, and Sponsor will announce the winners and post their names on the Contest Site or other reasonable location on or about June 30, 2021.

The Make it Real Student Design Challenge #3 is closed.

Grand Prize


Grand Prize

Three Grand Prize winners will receive a $500 CDW gift card.

Runner Up

Ten Runner Up winners will receive an Instructables Prize Pack.

Write an Instructable

Create a new Instructable that fits the guidelines outlined in the contest description above. To be eligible, Instructables must be published between Apr 26, 2021 and Jun 21, 2021 (11:59pm PT).


Upon publishing your Instructable you'll see checkboxes for open contests. Select Make it Real Student Design Challenge #3. If you have entries currently eligible for entry, it will also show up by clicking "Enter this Contest" on the right side of this page.


Entries are accepted by Instructables staff within one business day Monday - Friday. What matters is the submission time, not acceptance time.


A panel of judges made up of Instructables staff and respected members of the community rate the finalists. The averages of the ratings determine the winners.


When the winners are decided they will be notified and announced here on the contest page.