Capital Region Invention Convention 2017
Invention Convention 2017 (IC 2017) is an annual regional and statewide invention competition for students from grades K through 8. You may have experienced the creative energy of our student inventors during previous competitions. If so, you know how much fun it is. If you haven’t participated, we invite you and your students to join in the fun. An added bonus is that Invention Convention is aligned with NYS MST Learning Standard 5, which relates to Technology and Engineering Design. In collaboration with the museum of innovation and science (miSci) and GE Volunteers, this contest is organized and run by volunteer scientists, engineers, patent attorneys, agents and others. We believe that interdisciplinary programs such as Invention Convention have great value in the school curriculum, and we hope you and your students will participate this year. Now in its 19th year, Invention Convention has engaged more than 15,000 students from this region in creative problem solving with us since we began in 1998, including more than 1,400 in 2016! Regional competitions are held in the Capital District, Binghamton, Buffalo and the Finger Lakes.
The Capital District Regional Invention Convention is open to students in grades K-8. Invention Convention is made possible through the volunteer and financial support of a number of community partners.
To assure that all grades are represented in the semi-finalist and finalist selection and museum exhibit, we have established three separate grade level divisions:
Edison Division (grades K-2)Entries in each Division will be judged separately. Entries are then reviewed by a panel of judges, which includes members of local patent law associations, scientists, educators and other patent professionals. All entries are given a reference number in order for inventions to remain anonymous to Judges. 100 Regional Semifinalists showcase their inventions in an exhibit at miSci, where the top 25 finalists are selected. All semifinalists receive a T-shirt and a certificate. The top 25 finalists receive a trophy. The percentage of semi-finalist and finalist winners in each level will be equal to the percentage of entries in each category overall. For example, if there are 250 entries submitted by students in the Edison Division, 500 entries submitted by students in the Steinmetz Division, and 250 entries submitted by students in the Coolidge Division then:
Steinmetz Division (grades 3-5)
Coolidge Division (grades 6-8)
25% of the semi-finalists/finalists will be in the Edison Division (K-2) 50% of the semi-finalists/finalists will be in the Steinmetz Division (3-5) 25% of the semi-finalists/finalists will be in the Coolidge Division (6-8)
> Judging Criteria (view detail)
Print copies of the Judging Criteria to share with your inventors. Judging criteria includes the following:
Overall Impression –
> Creativity… Does the invention show imaginative problem solving?
> Originality… Does the invention provide a novel solution?
> Complexity… Does the invention show significant depth and attention to detail?
> Innovation… Is this a pioneering invention or a significant improvement? Presentation –
> Statement of problem… How well was the problem stated?
> Statement of solution… How well does the solution address the problem statement?
> Schematic Diagram… How effective was the diagram in illustrating the idea? Invention Relevance –
> Impact… How significant is the problem being solved?
> Practicality… Could this invention be made into a working device?
> Contribution… Does the invention solve a problem of importance to others?
Invention Convention 2017 (IC 2017) is designed to encourage scientific problem-solving in students of all ages, as well as to promote creative thinking. Designing a new invention or a new process can be a valuable and enjoyable way to develop the skills of creative problem-solving that can be used for years to come. To design a new invention, there are a few steps that you must follow. The first of these, which is usually the hardest, is to think of a problem that you wish to solve. Once you have decided on your problem, you must now come up with a solution. At this point you can draw a picture of your invention or an outline of your new process.
Student Inventor Tips
The following is a list of steps for your student or child to follow when preparing for the IC 2017. Please also print out a copy of the Submission Directions to assist with the process, and use the Student Invention Examples as a guide for your own disclosure form and as an example of the kind of invention that your child can submit.
> Step 1: The problem to be solved The first step in coming up with a new invention is to think of a problem that you wish to solve. Most new inventions are improvements on someone else’s idea. It makes something they already have work even better. It can also be an entirely new idea, one that nobody has ever thought of before. Remember that your invention doesn’t have to be a thing; it can also be a process or a better way of doing something. A good way to come up with an idea is to think of something that drives you crazy or something that you can never get quite right. For example, if you can never get a soda bottle open, then design a new bottle cap. You can also ask your parents, teachers and friends for ideas of things that they might need. Another way to think of an idea is to think of an object that you already have and to list all of the problems with it. > Step 2: How to solve my problem Once you decide on a problem, you have to think of a way to solve that problem. If you decide that you want to develop a way to keep ice cream cones from always dripping on your hands, then you have to think of a way to catch the melted ice cream or, instead, keep the ice cream cold enough so that it won’t melt. Remember to take into account just what it is that you’re going to make your product with and try to determine if your solution will be practical. Try to be as creative as you can with your ideas. You might come up with a great new idea! Draw a sketch of your product or an outline of your process making sure that everything in your design is exactly the way that you want it. > Step 3: Entering my invention After deciding on a problem to solve and inventing a solution for that problem, now you must fill out your invention disclosure form and draw a sketch of your invention. Try to make your drawing as clear as possible, and the entire form as neat as you can. Presentation is an important part of your application since the judges will be more inclined to select an invention that is clear and understandable. Make sure that the invention disclosure form is signed by a parent or guardian. > Step 4: Judging and awards The judging will begin March 2017. Each disclosure will be reviewed for originality and creativity, as well as practicality. Of all the inventions submitted, 100 will be selected as semi-finalists for the regional ceremony. Twenty-five finalists subsequently will be selected as top winners, and names will be announced at the regional ceremony. > Step 5: Making a Model Semi-finalists will be invited to create a model of their invention for display at miSci. Students who are selected as semi-finalists must submit a model to be considered for the special activity. The model does not need to be a working model and cannot be any larger than 1′ by 1′ by 1′. The model should depict what was drawn in the original submission, as that is what judges selected this submission for and will expect to see in the finished product. The model should not have the name of the student or school attached to it. Judging to select the 25 regional finalists will be based on the disclosure form and model only. No additional display materials will be permitted.
GE Global Research Center – The Capital Region is proud to be the home of the GE’s Global Research Center in Niskayuna, N.Y. This was the first industrial lab devoted to basic research in the United States. Many important inventions in lighting, power, transportation and health care were made at the laboratory, and this legacy of producing technology breakthroughs for the US and the world continues today. Additional information about GE inventions over its history can be found at www.geglobalresearch.com.
Classroom Visits – Teachers may request classroom visits by local patent professionals or practicing scientists/engineers. These volunteers from the community will share their perspective on careers that relate to invention, and will also explore the invention process with students. To request a school visit contact Lou Mazzone at the GE Global Research Center.Museum Programs – The museum of innovation and science (miSci) offers several programs that are complementary to classroom study of inventions and the inventing process. Contact the museum of innovation and science (miSci) for more information at 518.382.7890 ext. 224 or visit miSci to view a complete list of programs for Students and Teachers at: http://www.misci.org/Educators-and-Groups
GE Global Research
miSci is also presenting several workshops on inventions during December Break 2016. Visit http://bit.ly/miSciDecSTEM for class descriptions and registration.
For Invention Convention Submissions and General Inquiries:
15 Nott Terrace Heights
Schenectady, New York 12308
518.382.7890 ext. 252
For Classroom Visit Requests:
GE Global Research
Director of Development miSci
15 Nott Terrace Heights
Schenectady, New York 12308
518.382.7890 ext. 250
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