For Students

Welcome to the Students page!  Do you enjoy solving problems?  Do you have a great idea for an invention?  If so, you have come to the right place!

If you are in grades K-8 and your school is one of this year's participants (see For Teachers page for participating schools) in the Chicago Student Invention Convention, you are eligible to participate!

Basic participant rules and requirements are as follows:
Teams: Students may compete as an individual or as part of a team of 2, but not both. There may not be teams of more than 2 people. Both team members must be from the same grade. Both team members must be present for the judging and awards for the team to participate.

Inventor Journal: The Journal is a necessary step to document each participant’s creative
process and is weighed heavily in the judges’ evaluation process; it must include the following:

  • a description of the problem addressed by the invention
  • a description of solution ideas
  • a description of the invention
  • a description of how the invention solves the problem
  • a description of where the student researched the originality of their idea. 
Click on the link for the recommended Student Journal. Students participating as part of a team may complete one Team Journal. Both signatures/inventors must be present on the Team Journal. 

Model (prototype):  The model does not have to work, but must illustrate how the invention
would work if the model was operational. Models must fit on a table top, and cannot be larger than 2 feet by 3 feet in size. Electricity will not be available to inventors at the Convention, but students may use batteries. No live animals may be used in the display. Students participating as part of team may complete one model.

Oral presentation:
Students should be prepared to give a presentation of 3-5 minutes to the judges and briefly explain the problem, the solution ideas (i.e. the process), and how the final invention works. All team members must be present and participate in the presentation.

Presentation boards: Suggested, but not required.

Judging: Participants will be judged in 6 grade categories: K-2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7-8. 

Judges will evaluate the Prototype, Journal, Oral Presentations, and Support Materials based on Communication, Process, Results - Intention, and Results - Invention.  Please click here for the detailed judging rubric.

Questions?  Comments?  Please email us