Frequently Asked Questions
What is a maker?
A maker is a creator. A maker is a problem solver. A maker is someone who uses the technology available at their fingertips to come up with innovative solutions that address community problems. Makers are lots of different things — app developers, software coders, or hardware engineers — but they all start out as creative thinkers. Come on and give it a try!
What does “disruptive” mean?
“Disruptive” means no one has done it before. We want you to think outside the box about problems faced by our communities and people with disabilities, and come up with an idea that is totally unique and different from what’s been done in the past.
What is “universal design?”
Universal Design or “inclusive design” refers to big ideas and concepts that are applied to produce buildings, products and environments that are inherently accessible to everyone, no matter their age or ability. Example: Ramps can often help people in wheelchairs gain access where only stairs are present. But ramps also help people with minor injuries, roller-luggage, strollers, or using carts to move a large object. Including a ramp in a building’s blueprint by applying universal design concepts provides access for everyone, not just people who use wheelchairs.
What kind of help can I get?
- We’ll give your team a starter kit with all sorts of materials for your project.
- If you’re interested in working with a mentor throughout the competition, we can help you find one. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: “I need a mentor!”
- The Chicago Public Library has a bunch of great spaces with equipment you might need like 3D printers, laser cutters & more, and staff who can you help use it:
- YOUMedia learning spaces with maker programs and workshops at Harold Washington Library Center, Humboldt Park Branch, Richard M. Daley Branch, Rudy Lozano Branch & Thurgood Marshall Branch
Where can I learn more about the problems faced by my community or people with disabilities and how to make stuff?
- Join us for the Chicago Maker Challenge Launch Party on February 11, 2016 at Motorola Mobility (222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite 1800). People who work on these issues every day will be ready to talk to you about the problems they face so you can get some ideas. We’ll also have food and giveaways! Come on over even if you’re not sure you want to sign up but want to learn a little more.
- The launch party will go from 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm, and you can stay as long or as short as you’d like. Bring your friends and family!
- You can also check out these websites for inspiration:
- Community development projects:
- Technology resources for people with disabilities:
Who can sign up?
The competition is open to all students, grades 5-12, who live or go to school in the City of Chicago. Students will compete in one of two divisions – the Middle School Division (grades 5-8) or the High School Division (grades 9-12).
Can I do this with my friends?
Absolutely! You and your friends can form a team of up to five and sign up together or you can sign up by yourself. It’s up to you.
Is there any cost to join?
No, entry is free.
What is the Motorola Mobility Foundation?
The Motorola Mobility Foundation (MMF) is the philanthropic arm of Motorola Mobility LLC, a Lenovo company. That means we support the most innovative non-profits and work with schools, government, business and community organizations to spark disruptive innovation to improve lives and communities.
The Foundation’s mission to improve people’s lives through technology is driven by the Team4Good, a group of employee volunteers passionate about community outreach.