How CIC Works for You and Your Family

What Can CIC Do for My Kid?

CIC is part of a year-long program that teaches students creative problem solving through the process of invention. The CIC Program educates students in the process of invention by asking them to identify a unique problem in their world, build a solution to that problem, chronicle their journey to a successful solution, and present their invention to their peers and adult judges. CIC can be taught in a variety of settings including in school as part of the curriculum, as part of an enrichment program, as part of an intervention program, as an after-school program, in a home schooling environment, in makerspaces, and in invention clubs.

Invention Education can be such a rewarding experience at any level. This is not just a program for one type of student; everyone can get something out of the experience. Click below to find out more about how CIC has impacted the lives of its participants and opened doors for them like it could for your child.

How is CIC Offered to Students?

The student will be enrolled in the CIC program by their teacher or program leader by a deadline date determined by CIC. Prior to that date, teachers may periodically send announcements, forms, instructions, and other information pertaining to the CIC program, home with the student. While there is no fee for the student to participate at the school/program level, there is an event registration fee of $45 to participate in the CIC Annual State Finals Event.

How You Can Help

Thanks to the parents of all of our student inventors for helping to make their dreams come true. Without your care and attention, we know that many inventors would not complete this unique process which promotes creative problem solving and critical thinking skills.

Along the way, we ask you to follow one simple guideline for parent involvement – treat the invention activity the same way you would treat a sport in which your student is engaged. In sports, you make sure they have their equipment ready, you bring them where they have to go, you cheer them on and give a hug when needed, but you do not go on the field by their side.

In invention, the problem must be the student’s own, the solution must be of their own design, and the Inventor’s Log should reflect these steps. However, a student might need to go to a hardware store or to a relative’s home to borrow equipment and that’s where you come in. They might need to be reminded about the deadline or need supervision with hand or power tools. What a wonderful way for you to share real, practical skills with your student that they will have forever.

For legal reasons, students are NOT allowed to register themselves and all registrations must be done by an adult (teachers/parents). This also applies for registration for the National Invention Convention and Entrepreneurship Expo, NICEE, held at The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, in Dearborn, Michigan.


What if My Child is Homeschooled or Otherwise Unable to Access the CIC Program?

Most K-12 students who would like to participate in a CIC program can do so through their school or after school/club/group, but if none of those options is available, a K-12 student may participate in the CIC as in Independent Study Student (ISS).

Students are Qualified to Participate as an ISS only if they fall into one of these situations:

  • They are Homeschooled
  • Student’s school has not joined the CIC program, but the student wants to participate in CIC
  • Student’s school has joined the CIC program, but participation in the school’s CIC program is not offered to the student. For example, the student may be in 8th grade, but the school is doing the program with 4th graders.
Important to Note: If the school gives the student the opportunity to participate, regardless of their grade, but the student decides not to participate with their school, they cannot be an ISS.  If, for any reason, the school does NOT select the student to move on to the Regional Event, then the student can NOT register as an ISS. 

Essential Parent Information

Example of a CIC Board

General Guidelines for Parents

Helping Your Child Identify Problems

Invention Logs K-2

Invention Logs 3-12

Competition Rules K-2

Competition Rules 3-12

Use of Apps and Microcontrollers

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