Bringing the Program to Your School

How to bring Invention Convention into your school

The Invention Convention project-based learning program combines free comprehensive curriculum with exciting events so that you can easily guide your students through a unique learning experience that will test and grow their creative thinking and problem-solving skills. To get started in implementing the program in your school:

  1. Register your school/program
  • Contact your state Invention Convention organization expressing interest in the program.
  1. Plan Invention Convention implementation for your school
  • Select staff.
    • Teachers, enrichment leads, STEM coordinators, after-school coordinators – many people can play a role. Typically a single person can handle the local logistics for coordinating the program there.
  • Decide population and schedule for the program.
    • Decide teaching population and time. Your staff selection might decide this, but if not, pick the grade level, team, before school, after school, etc. that will be the target of the program. Plan for about 1-2 hours a week.
    • Set date and location for local convention.
    • Know your target date for the culmination of your local curriculum – the local Invention Convention. You will need to hold this before the registration date for the Regional Event or State Event assigned for your location.
  • 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:
      • Teacher stipend (if required)
      • Training costs – Currently, teacher training costs are being waived
      • Awards and incidentals for local school convention ($25- $200 total)
    • Bus to transport winners and their families to the State-wide event.
  1. Plan for Invention Convention Professional Development
  • Both state and the national organization hold  professional development sessions for teachers in the fall.
  • Professional Development (PD) is highly recommended for all new Invention Convention teachers and highly recommended for teachers who have not seen the new curricular resources.
  1. Start your program and submit your student roster
  • Hold a “Kick-Off Meeting” for all interested students
  • Get students excited and motivated to participate in invention convention. This is particularly important if you are running the invention convention program outside of your normal school curriculum. Tell parents about your plans and solicit participation. Post events on your school calendar.
  • Submit your student roster to your sate affiliate by email.
  1. Teach the Curriculum
  • Plan instruction time
    • Instruction typically takes 6-8 weeks 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 consider the task before them and to be able to get their creative juices going.
  1. Guide Students to Invent
  • Once taught, your kids will be ready to invent.
  • Collect “Intent to Invent” forms from students after lessons are taught. The invention is usually built at home. You will check in regularly with all inventors and review their Invention Log. Work on display boards and presentations can be done in school.
  1. Conduct your local Invention Convention
  • Hold your own local Invention Convention. This could be just one school or combined with other schools in your area.
  • Invite families and other classes to come in and view the displays. Engage local businesses, civic organizations and other volunteers to come and judge the exhibits using Invention Convention-provided judging materials. Judge training is available upon request.
  • Select the inventors to attend the State Invention Convention
  • The percentage of your students who can move on to the State Convention will be announced in January.
  1. Register students for State Convention
  • Each state organization will have unique procedures for this, which will be provided to you in advance.
  • Some states may have “feeder” regional competitions prior to issuing invitations to the state-wide competition
  1. Students attend the State Finals Event
  • Many teachers accompany their students to the State Invention Convention Finals.
  1. Student winners from the state competition  attend the National Invention Convention
  • Students selected by judges will move on to the National Invention Convention in Washington, DC in June.