All inventions may be conceived, designed, and entered by individuals or teams in any of the following categories. Note: if project is selected to win an award, one award is presented to the PROJECT. Duplicate awards may be purchased by additional team members for award-winning project.
This category includes projects where students have produced a full-size or scaled working model or sample of the invention that really works. The invention must accomplish a stated goal or purpose.
This category is for inventiions that would be too large, expensive, or technical to build. Entries in this category must be more than just a drawing; each entry must include a “blueprint” as well as a three-dimensional model or sample, which does not actually function.
This is an invention, which takes an idea already in existence and improves upon it. A three-dimensional sample or model of the adaptation is required. “New and Improved!” is the slogan for these inventions.
This category encompasses projects that would fit into any other category but are too futuristic or fanciful to be judged against more practical inventions. This is the fantasy category and will be judged heavily on originality and imagination. Future space ideas and scientific inventions would be examples of projects for this category. All projects must be accompanied by a neat, fully detailed 8.5″ by 11″ drawing (or larger) and a 3-D model representing the invention idea.
GADGETS AND GAMES
NEW! ”Gadgets” are ingenious and novel devices or toys, for the purpose of entertainment, education, or amusement. This category also includes original board, computer, and other digitally-produced games, designed and programmed by the student inventor, as well as sports or athletic games and activities. Examples of all the above games, along with complete instructions for playing are required. Inventors must provide all necessary technology and equipment for judging, as well as devices to secure that equipment.
*Entrants are responsible for determining which category is the best fit for their invention.
*An Inventor’s Journal must accompany every invention. This journal thoroughlydetails the entire invention process and documents the student’s journey from the idea’s conception, through various prototypes, to completion.
GRADE LEVEL DIVISIONS
GRADES 1 + 2 GRADES 3 + 4 GRADES 5 + 6 GRADES 7 + 8
NEW HIGH SCHOOL DIVISION: GRADES 9-12
I. DESIGN CHALLENGE PROBLEM STATEMENT= +5 points
A. Clearly defined = +3 points
B. Why this problem was selected = +2 points
II. IDEATION = +10 points
- Details numerous possible design solution ideas
III. RESEARCH = +15 points
A. Demonstrates new learning about the topic = +3 points
B. Includes interviews with target audience individuals prior to
solution creation = +5 points
C. Includes interviews with target audience individuals after
Production = +4 points
D. Identifies a mentor and delineates contributions provided by
Mentor = +3 points
IV. EMPATHY FOR TARGET USERS EVIDENT IN DOCUMENTATION = +2 points
V. 3-D PROTOTYPE = +25
A. Initial design sketch included = +5 points
B. CAD (Computer Aided Design) Diagram included = +5 points
C. Working Model = +15 points OR Non-Working Model = + 5 points
VI. EVOLUTION: TEST , REVISE, and REDESIGN = +20 points
A. Documents feedback from target audience about prototype
effectiveness and defects = +5 points
B. Shows evidence of redesign modifications based on tests and
Feedback = + 15 points
VII. ANALYSIS = +3 points
A. Documents higher level thinking to interpret feedback during
and after the process regarding benefits to society, effects
on the environment, technology that still needs to be
perfected for this invention to be produced, limitations for
potential markets, and other pertinent information
VIII. SHARING = +20 points
A. Shows evidence of sharing with the community to build
partnerships = +2 points
B. Provides a print advertisement of the product = + 2 points
C. Provides a professional looking, quality display documenting design process and benefits of the invention = +8 points
D. Provides a video with a clear purpose, documenting the
design process and benefits of the invention = +8 points
*Note: Point values in each area indicate the maximum points given for exceptional quality. Points may range from 0 to the point value indicated in each area, depending on quality exhibited.
CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO OF SAMPLE WINNING INVENTION AT THE HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL
“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”