About Us

The Invent It Challenge is an annual competition that inspires students around the world to unleash their inner inventor! The competition was created 10 years ago by Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center and Cricket, with the goal of educating, engaging, and empowering kids across the globe to learn and use the invention process to make change in our world. Since then, thousands of kids around the globe have tried their hands at inventing through the Challenge, and many have gone on to patent their ideas!

Every year, students document their use of Smithsonian’s 7-step Spark!Lab Invention Process to brainstorm new inventions to solve global problems. For the 2021 Dr. InBae and Mrs. Kyung Joo Yoon Challenge, participants will focus their minds and talent on generating inventions that make sports more exciting, fun, fair, or safe for all.

Often, entire classrooms of students enter, either individually or as teams. Teachers and home school parents love it as their students get to apply their STEM skills in an engaging real-world challenge. The high-quality, free curriculum provided by the Smithsonian and Cricket make participating a smooth learning experience for students, educators, and parents alike.

FAQs

Young inventors aged 5 to 18, either individually or on teams, compete in four age divisions:

● Ages 5–7
● Ages 8–10
● Ages 11–13
● Ages 14–18

In addition to presenting an invention idea that makes sports more exciting, fun, fair, or safe for all, each entry must show the process by which the invention idea was developed, showcasing the completion of the 7 Key Steps of the Invention Process. Suitable Entry Formats: Video. Submission uploads must be under 2GB in one of the following allowed file types: avi, mov, mp3, mp4, or mpg.

Students must document completion of each of the 7 Key Steps of the Invention Process in a video and submit their entry, Cover Photo, and Parent/Guardian Consent Form(s) anytime between 12:00 AM EST, January 17, 2021 and 11:59 PM EST, April 27, 2021. More information about how to submit will be provided beginning January 17, 2021. 

The team of judges is comprised of experts at Cricket Media and the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.

Cricket® is a mission-based global education company creating high-quality print and multi-media products for children, families, and teachers. Led by its 10 award-winning children’s magazines and research-tested collaborative learning and eMentoring platforms, Cricket Media is committed to creating and supporting innovative learning experiences that help children safely explore and engage with their expanding world.

The Lemelson Center is the Smithsonian’s home for the study of invention and innovation.  Through its historical research, educational initiatives, exhibitions, and public programming the Center advances new perspectives on invention and innovation and fosters interactions between the public and inventors. For more information please visit http://invention.si.edu.

Young inventors aged 5 to 18, either individually or on teams, compete in four age divisions:

● Ages 5–7
● Ages 8–10
● Ages 11–13
● Ages 14–18

In addition to presenting an invention idea that improves access to healthy food for everyone, everywhere, every day, each entry must show the process by which the invention idea was developed, showcasing the completion of the 7 Key Steps of the Invention Process. Suitable Entry Formats: Video. Submission uploads must be under 2GB in one of the following allowed file types: avi, mov, mp3, mp4, or mpg.

Each Challenge entry must adhere to the complete Official Rules, identifying a real-world problem related to improving access to healthy food for everyone, everywhere, every day, and demonstrating all seven of Spark!Lab Key Steps of the Invention Process. For the invention submission, Entrant can use either the provided PowerPoint template, Entrant’s preferred PowerPoint format, or video. For the evaluation criteria for judging, see the Scoring Guide. The Challenge will accept entries between December 6, 2019 and 11:59 pm EST on June 19, 2020. Winners will be announced on July 17, 2020.

In addition to the fantastic Cricket Magazine, Smithsonian Books and Washington D.C. Trip, Winners will also participate in an informational and educational seminar and one-on-one consultation with U.S. Patent and Trademark Office subject matter experts on the use and importance of protecting their intellectual property through patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. For a complete list of all available prizes, please visit our prizes page.

Students must document completion of each of the 7 Key Steps of the Invention Process in a video and submit their entry, Cover Photo, and Parent Consent Form(s) anytime between 12:00 AM EST, January 17, 2021 and 11:59 PM EST, April 27, 2021. More information about how to submit will be provided beginning January 17, 2021. 

The team of judges is comprised of experts at Cricket Media and the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.

Cricket® is a mission-based global education company creating high-quality print and multi-media products for children, families, and teachers. Led by its 10 award-winning children’s magazines and research-tested collaborative learning and eMentoring platforms, Cricket Media is committed to creating and supporting innovative learning experiences that help children safely explore and engage with their expanding world.

The Lemelson Center is the Smithsonian’s home for the study of invention and innovation.  Through its historical research, educational initiatives, exhibitions, and public programming the Center advances new perspectives on invention and innovation and fosters interactions between the public and inventors. For more information please visit http://invention.si.edu.

Attention Teachers and Parents!

The Invent It Challenge is designed to ignite the inventive spirit in children ages 5–18 and provide a hands-on opportunity to invent. The goal of the Challenge is to teach and engage young people in the process of inventing, opening their eyes to a new way to view and tackle everyday problems in the world around them. With your help, we’re training the next generation of inventors to look beyond what exists for better solutions and empowering them to recognize that they can generate those solutions!

Why participate?

  • Full turnkey curriculum with all the assets you need to support your student(s)
  • Project-based opportunity to integrate and apply STEM skills
  • Direct access to Smithsonian expertise

Have questions or need help?  Don’t hesitate to contact us at invent@cricketmedia.com