Frequently Asked Questions

What is Ecothon 2021? What is a hackathon?

Ecothon 2021 is a two day (over the weekend) global design convention for high schoolers looking to make a difference in the environment. Teams of 5-6 will design a solution, using the principles of human centered design, in the form of a multi-faceted, self-sustaining structure. The general requirements will be specified by a prompt revealed on the first day of the competition. Particpants will also get a chance to hear from two distinguished speakers in the field and join the founders' team after the event. Ecothon is inspired by hackathons, in which software designers and others in CS fields "sprint" intensively for a day or a few days to complete software projects in teams.

Who are the leaders of Ecothon 2021 and why did they create Ecothon 2021?

Shivi and Shrey, two high school juniors from Delhi, India and San Jose, America, respectively. They created Ecothon for the purpose of spreading the message of ecologicial design to other high schoolers, finding likeminded indiviuals they could collaborate with on their overall project or other projects after the decent, and finally generating ideas for their project. Refer to the about page for more information.

When does Ecothon 2021 take place?

The weekend of March 27-March 28. The zoom sessions for both days are from 4pm-7pm GMT. (8am-11am PST, 8:30pm-11:30pm IST)

When does Ecothon 2021 begin and end? Do I need to participate continuously during this time period? If not, when do I need to be connected on-line and when do I need to work off-line? Do I need to stay for this entire time period or can I still participate in Ecothon 2021 even if I will be available for only a part of the time period?

Ecothon 2021 will run from 4pm GMT March 27 (this is 8am PST and 8:30pm IST) to 7pm GMT March 28. The zoom sessions are only from 4pm-7pm each day, and when your team works between the sessions on your project is up to you to decide. If you can't be available during one of the zoom sessions, please send us an email at to explain why and so that we can figure something out.

Who is eligible to participate in Ecothon 2021? Age, gender, nationality, etc. Do I  need to have skills in any area such as computer programming, calculus, engineering, etc.?

Anyone around the world from the ages 14-18 can sign up. No prior skills are needed, just a willingness to learn, collaborate, and innovate!

Can I participate by myself or do I need to participate as a team?

You can register either as yourself or with up to five friends/classmates. If you register by yourself or with less than 4 others, we will place you into a team. We aim to mix together youth from different parts of the world, and you can rest assured that you will be in a great team!

Is there a cost to participate?


I am interested in joining you on the leadership team for Ecothon 2021. Are you accepting applications?

Send us an email and we'll see if we can use your skills, but unfortunately the probability is low that we will expand our team for the actual ecothon. However, we are looking to expand our team for our overall project after the ecothon with some of the event's participants (that was actually one of the motivations for starting the event!), and more information about this oppurtunity will be provided at the end of the ecothon. There is also some more about this on the event page.

If Ecothon 2021 is a competition, please explain how teams will be judged. Who are the judges, what criteria will they use to judge the teams, what are the different recognition levels (e.g.1st, 2nd, 3rd)

All mentors are judges, and to ensure fair judging, mentors will not be assigned to specific teams, rather try and help all teams as needed. For both the initial round of judging and the judging for the five finalist teams, groups will be judged in four categories: Ecofriendly concepts, 40% weight; Design, 30% weight; Inguentiy/Wow factor, 20% weight; presentation and teamwork skills, 10% weight. However, in the judging for finalists, both mentors and participants will judge. A more detailed rubric can be found in the event page. As mentioned before, there will be five finalists from all the teams (chosen before the second day of the event after all projects are submitted before the deadline), as well as a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place team. Because we want to make Ecothon 2021 a productive experience for all participants, all teams will be recognized on our website following the event, but the winner and 5 finalists will get special recognition and a special certificate. Similarly, allthough all participants are encouraged and eligible to apply to join our 6 month design lab following the event, the five finalist teams will be eliglble to automatically join without applying.

During Ecothon 2021, will teams be supported by mentors? If so, who are the mentors and when will they be available to support each team?

Yes! The four mentors can be found on the speakers page, and all are well qualified to help teams. During the team work session on the first day during the actual zoom session, mentors will go through the breakout rooms and help all teams. In the time between the two days of the event, when teams will be working on their own time, teams can scedule help sessions with mentors through the event slack server, and mentors will help teams based on availability.

Can I get volunteer service hours for my participation in this event?

Unfortunately not officially, though we encourage you to contact your school over wether they will give you volunteer hours for attending. However, you will definitely be eligible to get plenty of volunteer hours if you apply or are selected to join the six month design lab after Ecothon 2021, where you will work with other selected participants and the founders of Ecothon to incorporate your ideas in real life models.

I have more questions or suggestions. How can I contact you?

Contact us at, or through our social media pages!

Who are the guest speakers for Ecothon 2021? Can I ask them questions during their talks?

Dr Caroline Baillie, a professor of social justice and engineering at the University of San Diego, as well as the founder of the organization WasteForLife and the author of many scholarly papers related to environmental engineering and more. A more detailed bio for Dr Baillie can be found on the speakers page. Yes, there will be time alotted for questions for Dr Baillie from particiapnts after her talk!

Where can I sign up for Ecothon 2021?

Who will I work with at Ecothon 2021?

Teams of 5-6 high schoolers from around the world! You can also join Ecothon 2021 with up to five friends, if you would like. All team members must register through the sign up form.

What are the rewards for Ecothon 2021 finalists?

Special recognition on our project website (headshots and bio’s of each team member, description of each team’s proposal) (although all participating teams’ projects will be showcased), plus an invitation to join, without applying, our team to implement the teams’ ideas in real life along with our existing projects in a six month design lab.

What comes after Ecothon 2021 for participating teams?

Finalists receive an invitation to join our six month design lab to implement the teams’ ideas along with our existing projects in real life, but all participats can apply to join the design lab after the event, and some will be selected

Describe how the Design Lab will continue after the Ecothon 2021 event. When will you meet with team members, what roles will team members play, what are the goals and timeline for new team?

As mentioned before, finalists will automatically be eligible to join after the event, but all participants can apply to join. For six months, the founders of Ecothon 2021, Shrey and Shivi, will work with the expanded team of the Design Lab to use Design-thinking to implement your ideas in real life, along with their existing projects. The Design Lab team will meet weekly, and will continously work on this expanded, centralized project with the different ideas teams generated. All team members will have an active role in this project, and a new website will be made to showcase the work we complete. Due to the global nature of participants, facets of the project will progress in different parts of the world, but that just makes this Design Lab more special. If applicalble, after the six month Design Lab, the project will continue and expand, with team members from Ecothon becoming established members of this project. The overall endgoal for the Design Lab is to create a model structure that can be used as a continuous and expanding hub for environmental engineering, but this may change as the project evolves. More information on the about page.

Why should I sign up?

This is an opportunity for you to… - Meet like-minded teenagers from around the world - Challenge yourself to solve a real-world problem of great importance. - Stand out in college applications - Earn CAS points (IB) / Class Credit (AP) - Join us in our bold, global project to create an eco-friendly, sustainable, habitable, and evolving model structure - Interact with specialists and experts - Be recognized online on our website for your talent and hard work with a headshot, your name and your project presentation

Is anything required to join Ecothon 2021?

A gmail account, a working internet connection, access to Zoom, and an open mindset!