The idea of Project14 is simple enough. You launch a program every month that is largely run by the community members and hand out prizes to the winner of the competition. You start each month with a new project competition based on a theme. You run a poll every month that decides what the theme for the next month will be. You have the community members discuss what theme ideas they would like to see used to vote on in the future. You have the electronics and engineering enthusiasts determine the direction of the program.
Everyone in the community has an interest in electronics or engineering but not everyone comes here for the same reason. There are some people who are more technical than others and are drawn to challenges that aren't work related. Others are interested in the more creative side of things. Building something that never existed before, introducing new ideas into the world, and coming up with creative solutions to problems.
There are a lot of great programs to help this community support everyone from novices, experts, and those in between. There are programs to support you regardless of whatever category you fall in, as well as, great learning resources such as our STEM Academy and Essentials Some of the most popular programs are RoadTest that let you test new products before they get to market; Webinars that bring exclusive content around your interests; Design Challenges where you come up with creative solutions to obstacles; Raspberry Pi, BeagleBoard, and Arduino which make electronics projects accessible to the masses; and let's not forget The Ben Heck Show which has shown countless people (myself included) how cool this stuff really is.
You have a community with electronics experts to help you along your journey and the resources to make electronics projects accessible to anyone interested. Getting started and persevering without giving up is always an issue at the beginning of any challenge. This is no different. When looking at the community there was clearly a gap somewhere and some of loyalists community members noticed it right away. Project14 was launched to fill that gap but the devil is in the details.
If you've watched enough Ben Heck like I have you begin to think you can crank out these really cool things week after week but the truth is its not so easy. Like all creatives you need new challenges and obstacles to stretch your idea of what's possible. True to life, even Ben and his Team are trying something new this year. They took some of those builds that they put together in a short amount of time and are demonstrating what's possible if they had a long enough time to reasonably work on it.
Every journey takes its first step and this program is about you. What's a reasonable time for a project competition that runs monthly? Two months makes the most sense and its what we're trying right now. Are you someone that's new to electronics projects and looking forward to a monthly competition to take the always difficult to get started first steps? Are you an electronics expert who is looking forward to helping a fellow enthusiast realize that they can do things they never thought possible?
In the comments below let us know what you want this to be. What's a reasonable amount of time to run a competition like this and show people what's possible!