National Invention Convention Judging Process

Students will be judged at multiple times for different awards.  In some instances, the student will be present during the judging, and other times not.

Before the event

All students will upload an invention profile as part of the registration process. This will, among other things, contain a description of your invention, a picture of your invention, and a 4-min (max) unedited and continuous  pitch video about your invention (we do not accept “produced” videos; video should reflect live pitch).

The video pitches will be judged by a set of pre-event judges. Use the video pitch instructions to plan out your video. Be sure to discuss your research on what makes your invention an original. Educators will be using the information you provide to check on the originality of your invention. Also, during this judging period, each invention will be given a score, and feedback on their invention.

Some awards, such as sponsored awards by sponsors without a physical presence at the event, may be judged wholly on this preliminary judging period. Some awards will use this score in combination with the on-site score to come up with a final score for each student.

During the event

All students will take part in “judging circles” — peer review judging environments (typically including up to 8 inventions), where each student will pitch to the other students while the judges watch and ask questions of all the inventors in the circle. Each student or student team will have four minutes to pitch their invention, and five minutes to answer questions, from both peers and judges. For teams, all team members attending for a team project must share a part making the pitch. Judges will take a moment at the end of each presentation to make any notes or comments they have on their electronic scoring device, before moving on to the next student/team. When the judging circles are done, designated award judges may visit the student exhibits and have a follow up conversation with some students before determining the final scoring for their respective award.

Judging Criteria

Judging Rubric:

When presenting your invention to judges and making your trifold, you will optimize your competitiveness if you pay attention to the criteria on the rubric. You can view the rubric here.


All projects must have the following information in one consolidated place on the trifold:

  • Student(s) Name(s)
  • Project Name
  • Student(s) Grade(s)
  • Student(s) School
  • School City, State
  • Preferred Industry Focused Award Category (e.g. Telecommunications)
  • Patent Status

For Patent Status, there should be three options:

  1. None
  2. Under Counsel
  3. Patent Pending

Student should note on their trifolds “Patent Pending” only if a provisional or non-provisional patent application has been filed.  If you are currently represented by an attorney or patent agent (pro bono or otherwise), then mark “Under Counsel.”  

For the main Place awards, a combination of the pre-event judging and judging circle judging scores will determine placement. Ties will be broken by highest scores in this criteria order:

  • Process
  • Solution
  • Impact
  • Presentation

More information about  National Invention Convention event can be viewed on the following pages: