SIC Online Ideathon – Making ideas happen!

As part of the program Maker Culture in Education, SIC in collaboration with our partners in Mexico and Canada organized the first SIC Online Ideathon last 23 January. High School teachers, scientists and professionals in the education sectors came together to ideate solutions to challenges facing the transport, tourism, energy, environment and healthcare sectors of Central Bohemia, by using a maker approach. In a context of citizen-based innovation, the co-creative competition was aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Development Program of Central Bohemia 2018-2024 with a vision to 2030.

The main goal of the online event was to develop a practical and innovative solution based on a functional prototype that could solve a problem in a given sector, applying the concepts of maker education, collaborative platforms and technologies (microcontrollers) promoted during the Ideathon. The five participating teams, which some of them were working remotely from each other and other in one space, came from different backgrounds: technical high schools from Central Bohemia (Kutna Hora and Brandys nad Labem), from the Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Physics, the National Institute of Pedagogy and even from the Polička Municipal Library in Pardubice!

The teams used recycle materials of easy access and were guided throughout the 5 hours event by their facilitators to come up with a problem statement for their assigned sector, ideate the solution thinking on the end user, and with the prototyping which included beginners and advance programming. All with constant support from the group of mentors.

The participants were invited to develop any digital and physical products, services, anything that would create value to the communities in Central Bohemia, that would meet the regional challenges and have a social impact. The tools that were used were Miro boards for the online collaborative work, Micro:bit kits and the platform Flipgrid to share their pitch videos with the jurors.

The jurors evaluated according to the following criteria awarding the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place but also giving special mentions to some of the teams: inspirational idea, innovation, impact and communication.

To finalize the event, the participants were asked to self-assess their skills promoted in the Ideathon (collaboration, communication, prototype learning, adaptability, computational thinking, making, managing learning, and critical thinking) and in most of the skills an improvement was shown. Besides these skills, the Maker method develops creativity and entrepreneurship.

SIC Online Ideathon in figures:

Mentors Facillitators Teams Jury Total participants Hours

These are the sectors, solution proposed by each team and awards

Teams and Sector


Team 1 – Healthcare
Technical High School and Language School from Kutná Hora

Proposed solution


“We made a prototype device, which the basic function is to transmit glucose data in diabetics to the attending physician via remote access. If this device were manufactured and possibly covered by health insurance companies, it would eliminate the problem of quick and effective control of the health status of diabetics, and in the event of extraordinary values, it would then enable rapid intervention to prevent threats to the patient’s health.”



1st place

Team 2 – Tourism
J. S. Machar Grammar School, Brandýs Nad Labem

“We proposed a device for the region intended for tourists who prefer less visited tourist destinations. The device uses solar energy to monitor the number of visitors. It provides information on a site in the form of 2D or 3D and allows access to practical information about services in the area via a QR code.”

Special mention: Best Innovation idea

Team 3 – Environment
National Institute of Pedagogy

“We designed an assistance device for drivers of electric vehicle: a system for monitoring the functionality, occupancy and vacancies for electric car chargers. The system was designed for the Central Bohemian Region, the information is transmitted to information dash boards and to navigation in smartphones.”

2nd place and Special mention:
Best Team Interaction

Team 4 – Energy
Astronomical Institute Czech Academy of Sciences /
Municipal Library of Polička

“We designed a smart street lighting prototype. Using a light and motion detector that switches on the automatic lighting in case of nightfall and/or pedestrians approaching the street lamp. Otherwise, the light remains off. The system can be used by the municipalities of the Central Bohemian Region.”

Special mention: Best impact

Team 5 – Transport
Astronomical Institute Czech Academy of Sciences / Institute of Physics

“The goal of our project was to improve the transport sector within Central Bohemia by using ecological means of transport, such as bicycles carrying our prototype. The design aims to make a statistical study of the density and frequency of cars on the roads by counting the cars with a sensor, while keeping the riders visible and safe with a flashing LED strip that automatically turns on when the sunlight is dim.”

3rd place
Special mention: Best Inspirational Idea

Curious to see the results of the Ideathon? Here are videos our teams put together as a pitch for their ideas!

We had an amazing event with incredible ideas and solutions, but don’t believe us, let’s hear from the participants!

“I liked it; in a way it was demanding and stressful with the limited time and the need for intense concentration, but the result was a squeezed great idea out of our brains.”
High School Teacher

“A great method that leads very quickly to the first working solution. Also, a great experience with a bunch of people willing to work on a team in their free time, until the night.”
High School Teacher

“Overall, I really liked the event – the method, the practical approach, the teamwork …
(just a pity that we couldn’t be physically present …).”
Professional in education sector

“The organization was great, it was a very enjoyable event ?”

“Interesting and inspiring event, I really enjoyed it!”
Professional in education sector

“The maker method could be used to frame and help to solve problems in specific research areas”

Meet our mentors!

Jorge Sanabria – Mexico

Gustavo Calderon – Mexico

Ruy Cervantes – Mexico

Ben Douek – Canada

Meet our facilitators!

Jan Jirátko – Director Technical High School Emil Kolben in Rakovnik (Certified  Technical Collaborator in Maker Fundamentals)

Eva Kospachová – Programming teacher at J. S. Machar Grammar School, Brandýs nad Labem (Certified Certified Technical Collaborator in Maker Fundamentals)

Filip Zíka – Drone Teacher at Smichov Technical High School (Certified Technical Collaborator in Maker Fundamentals)

Michal Beneš – Teacher of design programming at High School Emil Kolben in Rakovnik (Certified Technical Collaborator in Maker Fundamentals)

Vojtěch Kolařík – Program and Community Developer at Make More