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September 26, 2017

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Students to vie for NT$200,000 at first national 'makerthon'

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- National Yunlin University of Science & Technology on Monday announced its 2017 Intelligent Living Makerthon, which aims to bring college students together to come up with practical innovations.

The makerthon is a 33-hour hardware and software hackathon to promote learning by doing among college students throughout the country, representatives of the event said.

A hackathon emphasizes interdisciplinary collaboration, teamwork, and an ability to solve problems in a limited amount of time, the Ministry of Education's Director General Yang Yu-huei (楊玉惠) of the Department of Technological and Vocational Education said at the launch event.

Yang said that she was looking forward to innovations and creative endeavors that would result from and be showcased at this first-ever national makerthon event.

The event officially opens for registration from March 22 to April 5, inviting currently enrolled college students to form teams of two or three and participate in one of three regional competitions in Northern, Central, and Southern Taiwan that will take place from May 6 to May 7.

All the teams that register will battle it out to become one of the 90 teams that will attend the national competition on Aug. 14 and 15.

The winning team at the national makerthon will win a monetary prize of NT$200,000.

'Maker Hubs' in Taiwan

National Chin-Yi University of Technology recently became the fifth "maker hub" in the country at the end of 2016, joining the ranks of National Taipei University of Technology, National Yunlin University of Science & Technology, National Formosa University, and National Kaohsiung First University of Science and Technology.

Together, these five hubs are the testing grounds for the Ministry of Education to promote its "maker movement," which according to the online tech encyclopedia Technopedia, is a trend of "people employing do-it-yourself and do-it-with-other techniques and processes to develop unique technology products."

Since the creation of the first four hubs at the end of 2014, the four universities have hosted a total of 775 maker workshops or camps for 20,069 teachers and students, which have resulted in 119 teaching curricula, props and other deliverables.

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