Cricket Media, in partnership with the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, today opens the call for entries to the Spark!Lab Invent It Challenge.
The Challenge offers eligible children from around the world the opportunity to showcase their creative thinking on a global stage and, thanks to the generosity of the Yoon family, winners of the annual Challenge in each category will participate in a multi-day visit to the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. (USA), during which they will undertake invention collaborations and get special tours of the Museum’s invention collections. Individual students, entire classrooms, schools and other organizations serving children between the ages of 5-21 are encouraged to participate.
Selected winners will also receive a consultation for an official patent filing with the law firm Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP. “Nelson Mullins has participated in this program on a pro bono basis for a number of years and look forward to, once again, helping to encourage young inventors and entrepreneurs,” says Neil Jones, a lead partner in the firm’s patent group. Mr. Jones adds, “I, personally, look forward to working with the eligible winners.”
This year’s Challenge invites kids to think about the impacts that natural disasters have on communities around the world and then design real-world solutions that can help prepare for and recover from these events. Young inventors are guided to create solutions by thinking critically about preparedness, response and rescue, immediate relief, and recovery.
The theme for 2017 was “inventing green,” and kids were challenged to create an invention that addressed a real-world environmental issue. More than 500 children ages 5-18 from around the world participated in the Challenge, and winning inventions included blinds with solar panels on them to generate electricity for homes, a personal environmental quality monitor, an app to teach animal conservation, and a device that drains water from roofs and gutters into a tank so that it can be collected and used for other purposes.
The Spark!Lab Invent It Challenge requires students to follow seven key steps in the invention process, including: Identifying the problem, conducting research, sketching their ideas, building a prototype, testing the product, refining it, and marketing it to potential users. The process helps to cultivate and reinforce modern skills such as the use of digital technologies, and also meets several learning standards.
A panel composed of Smithsonian and Cricket Media judges will select winners. The deadline for submitting inventions to the Spark!Lab Invent It Challenge is March 19, 2018. For complete entry guidelines and Official Rules, visit: https://cmchallenges.wpengine.com/inventit2018/.