An innovation-focused event where students from all majors develop solutions to real-world environmental challenges while learning from mentors to brainstorm and generate solutions.
Multidisciplinary teams will have 24 hours to learn from mentors, brainstorm, and generate solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems. Depending upon the problem, proposed solutions can involve hardware, software, art, text, and other materials. The 3 challenge categories are: Pollution, Renewable Energy, Conservation Technology.
EarthHacks will be hosted on Saturday, March 17 - 18, 2018.
Saturday, March 17
5:00 - 5:30 pm - Registration
5:30 - 6:30 pm - Opening Ceremony
6:30 - 7:00 pm - Dinner, Team Building and Meet with Mentors
7:00 pm - START HACKING
10:00 pm - Design Thinking Workshop
Sunday - March 18
12:00 am - Midnight Snack and Tightrope Walk Challenge
8:30 am - Breakfast
10:00 am - DevPost Wrokshop
12:00 pm - How to give a Pitch 101
1:00 pm - Lunch
2:00 pm - Elevator Pitches Due on YouTube/Devpost
2:55 pm - HACKING ENDS
3:05 - 3:45pm - 1st Round of Judging
3:55 - 4:25 pm - Final Round of Judging
4:30 pm - 5:00 pm - Closing Ceremony
$3,780 in prizes
1st Place Prize: The Green Program Scholarship
2nd Place Prize: Sustainable Bamboo Speaker
3rd Place Prize: LuminAID
Honorable Mention: Power Banks!
Honorable Mention: Power Banks!
Please select this if you are competing a challenge under the Pollution category.
Conservation Tech Category
Please select this if you are competing a challenge under the Conservation Tech category.
Renewable Energy Category
Please select this if you are competing a challenge under the Renewable Energy category.
Participants: Individuals (over 18 years in age) and enrolled in a college or university
The three topics are: Pollution, Conservation Tech, and Renewable Energy.
- VCU's Rice Rivers Center in Charles City County hosts a significant portion of the Cap-to-Cap trail and much of this stretch lacks a watering station where cyclists can refill their bottles. The trail crosses a possible water source-- Kimages Creek--at the Center but the remote and heavily-canopied location has no electricity, nor the potential for solar power. The challenge is to create and test a low-tech and low maintenance system to recover and treat small volumes of water from a relatively clean (but untreated) natural source and render it potable for human (cyclists and pedestrians) consumption. The finished product would need to meet Virginia Department of Health standards for human consumption. The Center can help with some expenses and logistics. -- provided by Rice Center
- 500+ students travel with The GREEN Program each year. Airplane emissions present an enormous problem by significantly contributing to our global carbon footprint. How might we adjust company operations to become a carbon neutral company? -- provided by Green Program
- Microplastic pollution in freshwater -- provided by VCU CLSE
- What solutions can we implement to help low-income populations who are disproportionately exposed to pollution and airborne allergens, increasing the incidence of asthma and other respiratory diseases? -- provided by City of Richmond
- Hawai’i is being swept with a fungal pathogen that is killing off the iconic ‘Ohi’a tree - by the time we know the tree is sick, it’s too late to save. How can we improve field identification and rapid response in remote areas? -- provided by Conservation X Labs
- Amphibian populations have a silent killer: the chytrid fungus, which is wiping out frogs and salamanders in South America and elsewhere. How can we improve the chytrid test for individuals, and along transmission pathways? -- provided by Conservation X Labs
- It takes almost as much money, time and effort to confirm the eradication of an invasive species from an island, than it does to actually eradicate the first 90% of the population. How can we more effectively confirm that invasive vertebrates have been eliminated from fragile and biodiverse island habitats? -- provided by Conservation X Labs
- How do we address the increasing unease caused by coyotes living in/around the city’s park systems that is felt by some (not all) residents living near those areas? -- provided by City of Richmond
- In March 2011, Fukushima, Japan, was hit by a 9.0 earthquake, resulting in a tsunami that caused one of the most devastating nuclear disasters in history, displacing more than 160,000 people. As a result, Japan has pledged to transition from Nuclear Energy to 100% Renewables by 2040. Japan will always be subject to similar natural phenomena, so how might we design systems and communities that are strong enough to resist such disasters and strive for a future powered by renewable energy? -- provided by Green Program
- Iceland is well known for sourcing 100% of its electricity from renewable resources - in fact, the country is able to produce far more electricity than is actually required for domestic consumption. However, the swift growth of their renewable energy sector has often proceeded at the expense of nature. In addition, Iceland’s transportation sector is still fully dependent on fossil fuels. How might we design new technologies and systems that: use the country's renewable resources in a way that is minimally invasive to nature, allow for a divestment from fossil fuels in the transportation sector? -- provided by Green Program
- Implementation of solar panels into urban spaces -- provided by VCU CLSE
- How can we make renewable energy accessible and financially feasible for low-income populations in our community? -- provided by City of Richmond
How to enter
Register at earthhacks.vcu.edu!
Alumni Engagement & Government Relations Associate / The GREEN Program
Director of Technology / The GREEN Program
Digital Makerspace Community Manager / Conservation X Labs
Climate Scientist / The Science Museum of Virginia
Experience Designer / VCU Brandcenter
Assistant Professor of Sociology / VCU Sociology
VCU Director of Sustainability / VCU Office of Sustainability
Associate Professor / VCU Chemical and Life Science Engineering
VCU CLSE Instructor
Awesomeness & Feasibility
Increment, Innovation & Originality
Impact, Potential & Sustainability