Why Adopt the CIC Program?

It Works

The Connecticut Invention Convention builds standards-based inquiry skills in students K-12 by introducing and leading them through the creation of their own invention to solve a problem of their own choosing.

CIC is...

NGSS and Connecticut Core Standards Based – The process of invention covers most standards effortlessly and naturally.

Not your typical STEM program...we are so much more – Linked with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, as well as English Language Arts, Humanities, entrepreneurship, economics, sociology, presentation skills, information technology, art, and much more.

Founded on Higher Order Thinking Skills - Invention involves problem-defining, problem-solving, engineering, and iteration. These skills stretch the mind to analyze, evaluate, and reflect.

21st Century Skills Related – Inventors learn all of the skills they need for college and career readiness, regardless of age…even kindergarteners invent and present to judges!

Differentiated Education - Inventors control their own learning, so invention accommodates different student needs and learning styles. Everyone can invent!

It's Flexible

The CIC program is open to all K-12 students both in and out of school. We provide the resources for students to learn invention and then the venue for your students to present their hard work. The program’s flexibility allows you to teach the program in a variety of settings and in the timeframe your school or program needs.

Implementation Possibilities:


A flexible program, ideally 6-12 weeks or more, which fits many time frames; before, during, and after school.


You can begin small. Invent with a single class, an after school club, a scout troop, etc.


Medium-sized programs can involve a whole grade level or multiple classes.


Large programs are multiple grade levels, school-wide or even town-wide.


Invention also fits into programs outside of school, Boys and Girls Club, Scouts, 4H programs.

It's Inspirational

The students who solve problems in our program today go on to become the inventors of tomorrow. Inventors in our program, control their own learning and process, which is rewarding for any student. In addition, many of our inventors garner local, state, and national and attention for the effort they and their teachers put into the program.

The benefits to students:
Student generated process - students identify and solve a problem and steer their learning
Enhanced communication and research skills
Real life opportunity to solve a problem in their lives, the lives of their family, community, or for the world!
Opportunity for original creativity and innovativeness
Chance to be recognized for their innovation talent
Builds the skills employers are looking for: innovation, problem solving, communication, and collaboration
Benefits to School/Program
Standards based instruction - naturally highlights the NGSS science and engineering practices, among others.
The program may be offered K-12.
Flexible program design
Inexpensive
Community and parent involvement is integral
Student Recognition at the local, state, and national levels
Positive press opportunities for the school and district

Implementation of the CIC Program

Step-By-Step

An Overview of Invention Education at Your School

Select staff.

Teachers, enrichment leads, STEM coordinators, after-school coordinators – many people can play a role. The many duties your CIC leaders will perform include: teaching the curriculum, registering your school, registering students for the CIC Finals event, paying the event registration fee, receiving information from CIC, contacting CIC with questions, outreach to parents and community, and securing funding if needed.

Decide population and schedule for the program.

Decide teaching population and time. Your staff selection might decide this, but if not, pick the grade levels, team, before school, after school, etc. that will be the target of the program.  You want to consider having multiple grade levels involved in this program.  It is amazing to see your students’ growth when they have multiple opportunities to invent.

Set date and location for your school/district’s local convention.

Know your target date for the culmination of your local curriculum – your school/district Invention Convention.  You will need to hold your local event prior to the CIC event registration deadline dates, so that you have enough time to select and register your inventors moving on to the CIC Annual State Final Event.

Set budget and secure funding.

While running an Invention Convention program at your school is not expensive, some funds are required. The average school will spend the following each year:

  • School Registration- $150 (waived for first time schools). There is a discounted registration fee for districts/groups registering more than one school.
  • Professional Development cost – we hold workshops all across the state.
  • Awards and incidentals for local school convention, if needed
  • Student Registrations for your students going to the CIC Annual State Final Event.Positive press opportunities for the school and district
  • Bus to transport inventors and their families to the CIC Annual State Final Event at UCONN, Storrs, CT (if needed, but not required)
  • Teacher stipend (if required)

Online registration is required for all schools/programs.  Teachers, district secretaries, or instructional coaches can register the school(s)

First time schools’ registration fee is waived, but registration is still required. Schools returning to the program pay $150. (There is a discounted fee schedule for districts/groups registering more than two schools.)  Fees are payable by check or credit card. 

CIC runs professional development sessions for new and veteran teachers.

  • Professional Development (PD) is recommended for all new CIC teachers, instructional coaches, and administrators
  • CIC PD is a great opportunity to meet other CIC teachers from your area that are running Invention Convention programs.
  • Registration and payment is required in advance of the class.

Hold a “Kick-Off Meeting” for all interested students

Get students excited and motivated to participate in the program. This is particularly important if you are running the Invention Convention program outside of your normal school curriculum. Tell parents about your plans and ask for their support. The CIC offers resources to registered schools to help get your students excited about the program (videos, flyers, success stories).

Plan instruction time.

Instruction typically takes 6-12 weeks or more depending on how often classes are held. Some schools build this into their daily or weekly coursework during school; some make this an after school or enrichment program. Plan enough time for students to engage in invention skill building activities, plus create their own invention. Students can work on their inventions outside of school time as well. Once you are ready, begin the program.

Hold your own local Invention Convention.

At the conclusion of your school program, host a school or district Invention Convention event. Engage local businesses, civic organizations and other volunteers to come and judge the exhibits using CIC-provided judging materials. Invite families and other classes to come in and view the displays.

Select the inventors to attend the CIC Finals Event

The percentage of each schools’ inventors who can move on to the CIC Annual State Final Event will be announced in January/February.  Register your inventors selected for the CIC Annual State Final Event and communicate with parents.  All students attending the CIC Annual State Final Event must sign photo/video/social media waivers.

What You Get

Invention education curriculum with over 80 activities aligned to standards such as NGSS and Common Core.

A scope and sequence for how to maximize your time through the curriculum.

Professional development to assist with school implementation.

Continued support and coaching for educators.

Communication about important dates, deadlines, news, and media opportunities.

Access to the CIC Finals events, for your students to present their hard work.

Access, through invitation, to the Invention Convention Worldwide Event at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

Acceptance into a community of educators excelling at invention education

What It Costs

The program is free for schools participating for the first time.

The school enrollment fee is $150 per school/program for all returning schools. To celebrate multiple schools in a district participating with us, we offer a Discounted School Registration Fee Schedule for districts/groups enrolling multiple schools.

While You Are at Finals...Volunteer!

Your special status as a teacher is needed at our events as inventor coordinators and floor monitors during judging. This is a great way to help other students and even see how CIC is run at other schools. It is a very rewarding experience. If you would like to participate in a CIC event as a teacher volunteer, let us know!
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