Check out the Science Hack Day projects you could take part in

2 Mar 2020

Pancake printer project from 2019. Image: David McKeown

From a low-cost radiation detector to bubble machines for everyone, Science Hack Day is a chance to get innovative with some really cool projects.

Any makers, creatives, innovators or tinkerers will want to head to Science Hack Day Dublin this year, which takes place on 7 and 8 March. The annual event is a 36-hour hardware and software hackathon that has been run by volunteers since 2012.

Each year sees a range of coders, designers, scientists, engineers and creative hobbyists come together to collaborate on weird and wonderful projects. The event takes place in the Tog hackerspace.

Last year’s Science Hack Day saw a everything from a pancake printer, which printed pancakes through the mouth of rubber duck, to a boxed environment that aimed to save the world’s saddest lemon tree, and ‘Twitter Knitter’, an internet-enabled knitting machine automated to knit tweets.

A group of young men and women are gathered around a messy workbench, creating a 'Twitter Knitter'.

Twitter knitter project from 2019. Image: David McKeown

Science Hack Day is an entirely free-to-attend event, and hackers, designers, coders and makers of all backgrounds can express interest in working on an idea that’s already on the site or submit their very own idea. If you had access to more than 100 of Dublin’s most creative engineering, science, programming or designer brains, what problem would you try to solve?

2020 projects

One project idea for 2020 involves creating a DIY pandemic ventilator, constructed with commonly available components, a timely idea given the current Covid-19 outbreak.

Another idea is creating a low-cost, ultra-low-power radiation detector. This project hopes to improve on a previous Science Hack Day design of a radiation detector.

‘Bubbles For All’ is a hack idea that does exactly what it says on the tin, creating bubble machines to produce different types and sizes. Why? “Bubbles make people happy,” according to the project details.

And a sustainability project idea is also on the cards this year in the form of a plastic injection machine, which the team hopes will help with the plastic upcycling process.

A tall clear box with a lot of wires attached. Inside, a blue light shines on a small potted lemon tree.

Saving the world’s saddest lemon tree project from 2019. Image: David McKeown

All these projects are seeking collaborators, but Science Hack Day thrives on ideas. Last year, Tog’s Jeffrey Roe spoke to Elaine Burke about how the event aims to open up science to everyone.

“We let everyone use the power of science to create something in the course of a weekend,” he said.

“As we want everyone to be involved, we have done our best to reduce barriers. Our event is free to attend and we are super-proud to be able to offer childcare and travel bursaries to increase the diversity of participants.”

Jenny Darmody is the editor of Silicon Republic