SASCU Contests and Giveaways

2020 Winners

Making their Big Ideas a Reality!

Congratulations to our winners: Zachary Watkins (12), Nico Miedema (13) and Tess van Donkelaar (22). 

Check out their submissions below!

Zachary Watkins - Bookcase for Recycled Fabric

Age: 12

Idea: Make a bookcase to store recycled fabric.

"My name is Zach Watkins. I have entered your Big Ideas Contest with a Video I posted on Instagram with the #SASCUBigIdeas. My category is 12-15.  I am in grade 6 at SMS in Salmon Arm.

I made an apron in Home Economics this year. We were suppose to buy fabric to make the apron. I felt we should try to reduce, reuse and recycle so I came up with the idea to use an old Tea Towel (large vintage one) to make the apron. I noticed lots of fabric that could be used from old towels and clothing and vintage bed sheets and pillowcases. Now I would like to win a membership to the makerspace so I can make a bookcase to store all the fabric for the other projects. The bookcase will be made with an old wood door and old meter sticks and some scraps of wood without buying new when possible and reducing, reusing and recycling. 

Hope you like my idea and video on Instagram."

Nico Miedema - Hummingbird Material Box

Age: 13
Idea: Create a material box for hummingbirds.

Tess van Donkelaar - 3D Printed Ballet Shoes

Age: 22
Idea: Create ballet slippers out of 3D printer material. 

"I'm Tess. I'm a 22 year old graduating engineering student. My big idea is to design and create a long-lasting ballet pointe shoe in order to reduce unnecessary waste within the dance community. Currently, pointe shoes are made in pretty much the same fashion they were at the time of their conception in the late 1800s. They are handmade with materials such as burlap, leather, and glue. The glue melts and softens with heat and moisture, so a dancer can only use the shoe a limited number of hours before the shoe breaks down and has to be discarded. For amateurs, the shoe can last up to a month; professionals sometimes go through several pairs a day. The average ballet company goes through an estimated 9000 pairs of pointe shoes a year. Personally, in my teens, I rotated two pairs so one pair could properly dry before its next use. 2 pairs would still only last me a week or two. And here's the kicker: the shoes cost around $100, and that doesn't even include elastics and ribbons.

To see all other sports equipment evolve every year, while ballet paraphernalia remains stagnant in its traditional design and continues to be wasteful and impractical irks me (especially as a future engineer!). For Earth Day, I want to design something durable for dancers of all levels. If I won the Makerspace membership, I'd be interested in seeing if I could 3D print a strong yet flexible structure that could reinforce or replace the composition of the shoe -- using the 3D printer at Makerspace. In addition, I'd use a saw to slice open a traditional pointe shoe to examine its components. If I won $200 towards materials package, I'd want to experiment with carbon fiber and other sweat-resistant materials that are used in other sports equipment.

I've linked a short video (below) of how pointe shoes are currently made and used. The video also shows how much the shoe must be customized and broken down before it is even worn, which further diminishes its life span!

Thank you so much for your consideration! I'm very excited to begin this project."

Thank you to everyone who submitted an entry. We look forward to seeing our winners make their Big Ideas a reality!

SASCU Big Ideas Contest

SASCU wants to make your ‘Big Idea’ a reality.

Updated: April 17, 2020 - CLOSED 

We are now accepting written entries! Create a post, DM us on facebook or email your idea to! The contest deadline is extended to April 17, 2020.

Tell us an innovative project you want to complete using resources or equipment available at the Makerspace in the “Innovation Centre Powered by SASCU” for a chance to win 1 of 3 Makerspace Packages!

This year's theme is Earth Day, so make sure your 'Big Idea' has a positive impact on the environment. 

Makerspace Packages include:

  • An annual membership to the Makerspace 
  • $200 towards certification courses
  • $200 towards material needed to complete your ‘Big Idea’ project!

Age categories:

  • 12 to 15
  • 16 to 18
  • and 19 to 30

How to enter:

  1. DM us your Big Idea OR submit a post (video accepted) to SASCU’s Facebook page detailing your ‘Big Idea’. What Makerspace equipment or resources would you use? Be sure to include your name, age and this years’ theme, “Earth Day”.
  2. Tag SASCU and the Innovation Centre and use the #SASCUBigIdeas.
  3. Make sure your post’s privacy settings allows us to see your post.
Example: “Hi, I’m Jane. I’m 16 years old and if I won the Makerspace membership, I would use the woodwork shop to make planters and create a small vegetable garden for my house!”

Example: “My name is John. I’m 25 years old and I’d like to invent a machine that will draw in trash from the lake and recycle it using the following mechanics … here’s a drawing of my plan…I would use the 3D printer and woodwork shop equipment from the Makerspace.”  

Video Submission Checklist:

  • Your submission includes your name, age and ‘big idea’ relating to Earth Day
  • If you posted a video, it's less than 3 minutes long
  • You’ve tagged us and used the hashtag #SASCUBigIdeas
  • You’ve posted the video on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn
  • Your privacy settings (see below) allow us to see the post OR you've submitted your idea to – with the understanding that we may choose to post your submission to our social media
  • You’ve received an interaction from us confirming your submission (i.e. a like, comment or share)

Extended Deadline: April 17, 2020

Winner Announcement: April 22, 2020 (Earth Day)

Have more questions about our contest? Call SASCU's Contact Centre 250.832.8011.
Have more questions about the Makerspace? Call the Innovation Centre 250.833.0608.

Big Ideas FAQ


What is this year’s theme?

This year’s theme is Earth Day. We encourage applicants to submit ideas that have a positive impact on the environment. See two examples on the first tab. Your idea can be a simple or intricate! 

Is this contest open to non SASCU or Makerspace members?

Yes. Anyone can enter who meets the age requirements.

Can I enter more than once?

Yes. So long as your ‘big idea’ is different in each submission. Meaning, they aren’t the same idea shared twice. A maximum of 3 entries is allowed. Individuals can only win once.

Who chooses the winners? On what criteria?

Together, the Innovation Centre and SASCU will review submissions and choose a winner. 
The selection team will be looking for submissions that are: 

  • unique, creative and achievable,
  • have a positive impact on the environment,
  • are local (Shuswap and nearby areas),
  • require Makerspace equipment and/or material,
  • show enthusiasm and commitment to project completion,
  • have tagged SASCU and/or the Innovation Centre OR have submitted their video via email,
  • and are willing to share results of the project publicly.

How will I know you’ve received my submission?

We will interact with your post within 3 business days (i.e. repost, like and/or comment).

What if you haven’t interacted within 3 business days?

Send a copy of your video to You may have privacy settings not allowing us to be notified of your video.

How can I change my privacy settings to make sure you can see my post?

If you post your submission to Facebook, make sure your post is set to “Public”. 

If you post your submission to LinkedIn, make sure your post is set to “Anyone”.

If you post your submission to Instagram, make sure your account isn’t private. Click 'Settings', 'Privacy', then 'Account Privacy'.

What if I don’t want to change my privacy settings OR don't have social media?

You can submit your video to However, by doing so you grant us permission to post your video to our social media.

What equipment does the Innovation Centre offer?

The Innovation Centre offers a variety of specialized tools: 3D printers, virtual reality station, electronics equipment (soldering and circuitry work), wood working equipment, CNC router, metal lathe and more.

The Innovation Centre Powered by SASCU is always adding to their Makerspace equipment and resources!

Is the 3D printing material environmentally friendly?

Yes. The material used for 3D printing is biodegradable. Moreover, 3D printing uses only material that’s required for a project, meaning there’s little-to-no waste being produced from the 3D printer.

Extended Deadline: April 17, 2020

Winner Announcement: April 22, 2020 (Earth Day)

Have more questions about our contest? Call SASCU's Contact Centre 250.832.8011.
Have more questions about the Makerspace? Call the Innovation Centre 250.833.0608.

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