What Is Invention Convention All About?
Depending on how your school runs the program, your child will be asked to identify problems in their lives and in the community. Once your child narrows down and focuses on a problem they would like to solve, they will research what solutions already exist and try to come up with an innovative solution to the problem.
Once they have an original solution to a problem, or an innovation of an existing product, they will begin the engineering design process: designing their prototype, building and testing their prototype.
How Your Kids Can Get Involved
Most kids participate in Invention Convention through formal programs in their school, after-school program or other group (like scouting). (Find your local programs here.) If there isn’t a local program, your kids are NOT out of luck; they can participate in Invention Convention through the Independent Inventor Program.
How You Can Help Your Kid
Parent support, guidance, and help is encouraged. This is a great family project. You can help your child notice problems during your daily lives. This may be a difficult step for children who are not accustomed to identifying problems, but it is a key step in the invention process.
Once your child is thinking about a solution, help them research what already exists. Contact experts in the field of your child’s invention. Use online shopping sites to explore what is already on the market. Use patent sites, like the USPTO and Google Patents to explore what patents already exist. Encourage your child not to get discouraged if their idea already exists. They can innovate on a current invention and make it better!
Although your help is often needed, please allow your inventor to lead the way. All invention work should be from the inventor, with you as a coach or helper. If your inventor needs to sew or weld, teach your inventor these skills!