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What is EarthHacks?

March 17 - 18, 2018
Science Museum of Virginia
2500 West Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23220-2057

EarthHacks is an innovation-focused event where students from all majors develop solutions to real-world environmental challenges. Multidisciplinary teams will have 24 hours to learn from mentors, brainstorm, and generate solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems. Depending upon the problem, proposed solutions can involve hardware, software, art, text, and other materials. The 3 challenge categories are:


Pollution is the interference of contaminants with the natural world, degrading natural resources and putting plant, animal, and human life in danger.

Renewable Energy

Renewable energy is power harvested from renewable resources that are not in danger or being depleted, such as wind, sunlight, geothermal energy, waves and tides, rain, and bio energy.

Conservation Technology

Conservation Technology is the modernization and introduction of technology to the conservation fields, spurring ecological, agricultural, and wildlife-focused innovation.


Saturday - March 17

5:00 - 5:30 PM - Registration

5:30 - 6:30 PM - Opening Ceremony

6:30 - 7:00 PM - Team Building, Dinner, Meet Mentors

7:00 PM - Start Hacking

10:00 PM - Design Thinking Workshop

Sunday - March 18

12:00 AM - Midnight Snacks and Tightrope Walk Challenge

8:30 AM - Breakfast

10:00 AM - Devpost Workshop

12:00 PM - How to Give a Pitch 101

1:00 PM - Lunch

2:00 PM - Elevator Pitches Due on YouTube/Devpost

2:55 PM - Hacking Ends

3:05 - 3:45 PM - First Round of Judging

3:55 - 4:25 PM - Final Round of Judging

4:30 - 5:00 PM - Closing

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate?

If you attend EarthHacks, you must be 18 years or older, enrolled in a college or university, and must agree to adhere to the MLH Code of Conduct. If you have the willingness to learn and the drive to participate and create, you should register!

What do I need to bring to the event?

Please make sure that you bring a valid government issued ID to this event, and a sleeping bag if you are planning to stay overnight! If you have your own equipment for hacking, make sure that you bring that along too!

Is this a team event?

You can come to EarthHacks with a prebuilt team, or we can get you a team when you arrive! Please limit your team to a maximum of four people.

Does VCU reserve the rights to what we create at EarthHacks?

Nope - you own what you make! VCU will not have any bearing on the rights to any of the projects you create at EarthHacks. The sky is the limit, so create anything you want!

What if I don’t have the hardware or an idea?

We’re working on the logistics of hardware and will provide more information to participants as the event draws nearer. If you don’t have an idea, don’t worry! The EarthHacks team and some really cool mentors will be around to help.

Will this event be all work and no play?

Absolutely not! We will have some of our local RVA restaurants on scene to make sure that there are delicious eats - and we are going to be hacking in the Science Museum of VA! There are also going to be tech talks by some really awesome speakers.

Do I need to know how to code?

No, not all hackers code! Innovation is something which is most successful when it stems from interdisciplinary collaboration, so students from all disciplines/majors are welcome! In fact, having an interdisciplinary team could even help your team’s work stand out from the crowd!

Am I limited to a specific type of hack at this event?

We welcome any and all types of hacks! Whether it be a hardware, software, a business plan, or even a fantastic proposal of a solution, anything can be done!

Will event transportation be available?

Unfortunately, we will not be providing transportation to this year’s event. Please provide your own transportation.

What will I eat?

We will be providing meals and snacks during the duration of the hackathon, so come willing to hack hard, and eat harder!


VCU Center for Environmental Studies - Life Sciences
Conservation X Labs
Dominion Energy
Science Museum of Virginia
The Green Program - Education Abroad - Redefined - Reinvented
SustainLab at VCU

Sponsorship Levels


Event Co-Host and Keynote Speaker

Includes all benefits of Silver, Bronze and Supporter packages.

  • Top T-shirt Logo Placement
  • Keynote Speech
  • A Dinner Named After Your Company (Limited to 1)


Tutorial Sessions and Tech Talks Sponsor

Includes all benefits of Bronze and Supporter packages.

  • Priority T-shirt Logo Placement
  • Tech Talk
  • A Lunch Names After Your Company (Limited to 2)


Create a Challenge

Includes all benefits of Supporter packages.

  • Logo on T-shirt
  • Representative and Booth
  • Access to Participants' Resumes
  • A Breakfast Named After Your Company


Show your Support with a Presence at the Event

  • Logo on T-shirts
  • Opportunity to Judge Entries