2024 Make-a-Thon

Safety from the neck down: Tackling neck protection in the 2024 Make-a-Thon

Season 7 of the Rethink the Rink Make-a-Thon felt personal – and for good reason. Following the tragic passing of former Penguin Adam Johnson in October 2023, it was decided that the 2024 event should focus on an important safety measure in hockey: neck protection equipment.

For hockey players at all levels, there has been a historical reluctance to wear neck protection. Many complain that it can be bulky and uncomfortable and that the gear limits mobility. During the Make-a-Thon, Carnegie Mellon students aimed to develop brand new neck protection prototypes – using Covestro materials – to address these concerns.

“Safety is central to the work we do at Covestro. Combining safety with another of Covestro’s core strengths, innovation, to create an environment where the best and the brightest student minds can leverage insights from experts in hockey and material science is a win-win for all the organizations involved and the sport of hockey.”

Samir Hifri

Chairman and President, Covestro LLC

With the help of former Penguins players, materials coaches from Covestro and hockey equipment experts from Bauer, the students teamed up to produce four unique, innovative concepts for neck protection for players at all levels. Students drew inspiration from unlikely sources – including nature and the iconic Batman costume.

In the end, Team Gold took home the prize for their unique flex guard concept.

Learn more about previous Make-a-Thon events:

  • United States

    Make-a-Thon 2023

    Taking a shot at foot safety: 2023 Rethink the Rink Make-a-Thon


    Make-a-thon 2022

    The 2022 make-a-thon featured an “assist” from PPG and Athletica Sports Systems.

  • United States

    Make-a-thon 2021

    Three giants of sports, innovation and technology - The Pittsburgh Penguins, Carnegie Mellon University and Covestro - teamed up for the fourth time in a continuing innovation partnership to make hockey safer at every level.

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