Northern New England Invention Convention

Northern New England Invention Convention

The capstone regional event for the Young Inventors’ Program is the Northern New England Invention Convention. Students from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Vermont showcase their projects and celebrate together with the Academy’s staff, board, and volunteers.

Northern New England Invention Convention
Saturday, March 28, 2020
Southern New Hampshire University, Hooksett, NH

Teacher Nomination Deadline
3pm (EST), March 10, 2020
* Only YIP teachers/leaders may nominate students for the regional event

Inventor Registration Deadline
10pm (EST), March 20, 2020
* Nominated students’ parents/guardians will be emailed registration instructions.

Registration Cost: $25 per inventor
If cost is a barrier, the Academy offers scholarships for students. Instructions will be included in nomination messages.

Who Can Compete

K-12 students participating in a school or local YIP program or inventing on their own.
Students who compete and are selected to advance from a School/Local Invention Fair or the Independent Students’ Invention Fair [[[link: Independent Students’ Invention Fair]]].
YIP teacher/leader nominates students to compete at Northern New England Invention Convention.
Individuals or teams: students may work as an individual or on a team. Individuals may compete against teams and vice versa.

How to Compete

Students will develop an invention that solves a problem in one of three categories
—General Invention & Design Category
—Challenge Invention Category
—Chain Reaction Machine Category

Students will develop and test their invention through YIP’s curriculum based program, or with guidance from a teacher/leader on their own, and finally present their project at a school/local invention fair. Selected students from the school/local fairs will be nominated to present at the regional Invention Convention. Winners at the regional level may qualify and be invited to move on to the Invention Convention U.S. Nationals.

*Please note that the national event does not have a Chain Reaction Machine invention competition, so students in this category are not eligible to move on to the U.S. Nationals.

Competition Categories

General Invention & Design Category

The General Invention & Design Category includes inventions developed through the Invention & Design track of the YIP program. In this track, students have the freedom to identify any problem and design a solution for it. From environmental concerns, helping those with physical disabilities, to pet care and fun and leisure inventions, projects in the general category cover an infinite range of topics.

Challenge Category

Each year, the Young Inventors’ Program offers an additional challenge. Inventors who accept the challenge must incorporate a special element into their invention design. The Challenge Invention Category includes all inventions which incorporate the year’s theme. These inventions are developed through the Invention & Design track of the program, similar to the General Invention & Design Category, however the Challenge may provide more direction for students who need more guidance to choose a problem to solve, or for those students seeking to push themselves to think outside of the box around the challenge theme.

YIP Challenge 2020: The Green School Challenge

Each year, the Young Inventors’ Program offers an additional challenge. Inventors who accept the challenge must incorporate a special element into their invention design. The Challenge Invention Category includes all inventions which incorporate the year’s theme. The Challenge may provide more direction for students who are overwhelmed by the thought of brainstorming a problem to solve, or for those students seeking to push themselves to think outside of the box.

The YIP Challenge theme for 2020, is the Green School Challenge. Now is your opportunity to make your school more efficient and environmentally friendly. What can you do to reduce food waste in the cafeteria, cook or serve meals differently, save energy, make an easier or fun way to recycle or compost, or reduce water usage? We know you have some bright ideas. So let’s begin to make your school a “greener” place.

Chain Reaction Machine Category

The Chain Reaction Machine Category (formerly known as the Rube Goldberg® Machine Category) allows inventors to design a contraption or devise that is deliberately over-engineered to perform a simple task in a complicated fashion.

Northern New England Invention Convention Rules of Competition:

Eligibility

Inventors from grades K-12 who have participated in a school/local Invention Fair and have been nominated by their teacher or leader are eligible to compete in the regional Invention Convention. Nominated inventors must register for the regional event online by the stated deadline. Individuals and teams may compete in all three categories of competition.

Teams

The Young Inventors’ Program encourages collaboration and welcomes teams to compete in the Northern New England Invention Convention. Teams may compete against individuals, and vice versa. All team members must participate in the development of the invention and should keep their own YIP Inventors Journal or invention logbook.

Rules for teams in our competition categories are:

Teams: Invention & Design Inventions and Challenge Inventions

  • Two students will be allowed per Invention Team.
  • Students do not have to be from the same grade.
  • All team members must take part in the team presentation.
  • All team members should keep their own YIP Inventors Journal or invention logbook.
  • Each student can enter only one project (General Invention & Design Invention, Challenge Invention or Chain Reaction Machine) for the School/Local Invention Fair, the regional Invention Convention, and the Invention Convention U.S. Nationals.
  • No student can enter both an individual and a team project.
  • Teams will compete against individuals and vice versa.
  • The judging process for individuals and teams is exactly the same at all levels.

Teams: Chain Reaction Machine Inventions

  • Teams of up to four students will be allowed per Chain Reaction Machine Team.
  • Students do not have to be from the same grade.
  • All team members must take part in the team presentation.
  • All team members should keep their own YIP Inventors Journal or invention logbook.
  • Each student can enter only one project (Invention or Chain Reaction Machine) for the School/Local Invention Fair, the regional Invention Convention, and the Invention Convention U.S. Nationals.
  • No student can enter both an individual and a team project.
  • Teams will compete against individuals and vice versa.
  • The judging process for individuals and teams is exactly the same at all levels.

Project Requirements

All projects must have the following components:

  • YIP Inventors Journal or Invention Logbook:

The journal documents the student’s journey and all aspects of the invention process. Journals should be used throughout the development of the project and should not be a report completed after the fact.

  • Tri-fold/3-panel Display Board

Displays are a visual aid to communicate significant aspects of the invention. Displays must include the student name/s, grade level/s and title of the invention.

A tri-fold display board may be a maximum of 48” wide and 36” tall (the board should be 24” with both 12” sides folded in.) The board must fit into a footprint of no more than 30” wide (with sides folded in slightly) on the tabletop. Prototypes and models should fit within this tabletop space as well or on the floor in front of the table and should not encroach upon neighboring display spaces. No oversize displays will be allowed.

Display boards must have the following information in one consolidated place on the poster:

  • Student(s) Name(s)
  • Name of Invention
  • Student(s) Grade(s)
  • Student(s) School
  • School City, State
  • Statement of the problem
  • Explanation of the invention as a solution to the problem
  • Details of model construction
  • Diagrams of design

*Note: Models or prototypes (which may be working or non-working) are not required but are recommended. These models demonstrate the key characteristics that make the invention valuable, original, and useful. This model does not have to be fully functional.

  • Project Restrictions

The following items are not allowed on your person or in your project:

  • Electric stun guns, martial arts weapons or devices
  • Guns, replica guns, ammunition, and fireworks
  • Knives of any size
  • Mace and pepper spray
  • Razors and box cutters
  • Balloons, glitter or confetti of any form

If a project requires batteries, these must be provided by the inventor. The regional Invention Convention will have access to electrical outlets if needed.

Invention Convention Judging

The judging process is an important component of the regional competition. Judges at the Northern New England Invention Convention receive training and attend an orientation prior to the event so that all are prepared and understand the goal of the program and their roles as judges.

As they review inventors’ projects, judges are asked to keep in mind that:
All participants are winners, having already won at their school/local level.
Participants include some first-time inventors. They may be nervous and may need gentle encouragement.
Judging process is a positive experience for students to showcase their ideas and celebrate their accomplishments.

Inventions at the regional Invention Convention will be judged according to category of competition: General Invention & Design, Challenge Inventions, and Chain Reaction Machine Inventions. Judges are assigned to each grade level to evaluate each invention and to ask pertinent questions of the inventor.

Judging Formats

Judging at the Northern New England Invention Convention may follow one of two formats: the more traditional Interview format and the Judge Circle format. In both formats, judges are placed in teams so that inventors are evaluated by at least two different judges. Different judges may ask different questions that will provide varying perspectives of the inventions, but all judges are advised on appropriate inquiry and discussion points during their training.

Judge Interviews

Judges will visit their assigned inventor projects individually and spend 5-8 minutes with each inventor. Inventors will be allowed 2-3 minutes to give their presentations and explain their invention. Then, the judge may ask questions about the invention and the design process applied. A conversation may follow as questions and answers are shared back and forth. The judge will also take this time to look at the Inventors’ Journal or logbook, display board, and/or model and prototype.

Judges will use a standard rubric/scoresheet to evaluate each project they have been assigned to review. Following the judging session, judges will meet to discuss their notes and their scores and to deliberate before selecting winners in the various award categories.

Judging Circle

The Judging Circle is a unique and continually evolving concept that seeks to involve all the young inventors. The purpose of the judging circle is to give students a forum to discuss their ideas with adults, to share ideas with their peers, and to field questions or consider alternatives to their invention idea as presented by other interested inventors.

The inventors will be grouped according to grade levels. Each judging circle has two judges assigned to lead the group, and 8-10 students. The judges and all of the students in the group will gather in a circle in among the projects. Each inventor will be given 2-3 minutes to present their project with all of the other inventors in the group listening. After the student has presented, the judges, as well as the other inventors in the circle, are all able to ask questions and to engage in a discussion about the project. The judges will ask questions to guide the student who is describing his/her invention. This Q&A and discussion period goes on for another 4-6 minutes. The responsibility of the judges is to promote an understanding of each invention not only for him/herself, but also for the entire group. Once the first inventor has finished, the next inventor will begin again with a 2-3 minute presentation of their invention followed by 4-6 minutes of group questions and discussion.

Judges will be given a standard rubric/scoresheet to guide their evaluations. Following the judging circle session, judges will meet to discuss their notes and their scores and to deliberate before selecting winners in your various award categories.

Judging Criteria

Each category of competition will be evaluated on a set of stated criteria by the judging team.

General Invention & Design Inventions are judged on the following criteria:

Originality/Usefulness

  • Does the invention represent an original and creative thought?
  • Is the invention a novel or unique solution to an identified problem?
  • Does the overall presentation of the invention reflect creative or original work?
  • Does the invention have marketable value?

Written Description/Presentation

  • Does the content of the written description clearly express the purpose of the invention and how it accomplished its purpose?
  • Is the written description complete and appropriate for the inventor’s grade level (the inventor’s journal?)

Model/Illustration

  • Is the illustration complete, with all parts neatly labeled, and is a clear attractive, visual explanation of the invention (display board)?
  • Is the model an accurate replica of the idea?
  • Research Performed
  • Was time and effort given to see if this invention has already been invented?

Challenge Inventions- The Green School Challenge – are judged on the following criteria:

Originality/Usefulness

  • Does the invention represent an original and creative thought?
  • Is the invention a novel or unique solution to the challenge problem?
  • Does the overall presentation of the invention reflect creative or original work?
  • Does the invention have marketable value?

Written Description/Presentation

  • Does the content of the written description clearly express the purpose of the invention and how it accomplished its purpose?
  • Is the written description complete and appropriate for the inventor’s grade level (the inventor’s journal?)

Model/Illustration

  • Is the illustration complete, with all parts neatly labeled, and is a clear attractive, visual explanation of the invention (display board)?
  • Is the model an accurate replica of the idea?

Research Performed

  • Was time and effort given to see if this invention has already been invented?

Chain Reaction Machine Inventions are judged on the following criteria:

Use of Simple Machines

  • Is there evidence of 4 simple machines used at least once
  • wheel & axle
  • pulley
  • incline plane
  • screw
  • wedge
  • lever

Construction/Complexity

  • Does the construction match the design (diagram or display board)?
  • Is it safe and reasonably well constructed?
  • Does the task use at least 6 steps?

Written/Oral Presentation

  • Is there a detailed diagram with tasks describing each stage (at least 6 steps labeled neatly in order?)
  • Oral description of steps and knowledge of the mechanics of simple machines.
  • Successful completion of task in one or two tries.

Creativity

  • Creativity and overall appearance of the completed contraption and the task it accomplishes.

Regional Awards

The Young Inventors’ Program seeks to inspire and encourage students to engage in STEM activities at all levels. Participation is always recognized and inventors are commended for their efforts to challenge themselves and to take positive risks to create and present their inventions. All inventors are considered successful and we strive to celebrate their accomplishments.

Awards are presented in addition to recognition for participation in all three categories of competition, across grade levels, in designated specialty categories, and best in show achievement. In addition, the Young Inventors’ Program will grant Best In Show awards which may change year to year. An inventor/team may win up to two awards at the regional Invention Convention.

Select winners at the regional Invention Convention will be invited to represent the Northern New England region at the Invention Convention U.S. Nationals hosted by Invention Convention Worldwide in partnership with the Henry Ford. Designated regional Invention Convention awards serve as National Qualifiers and automatically qualify an inventor for the national competition. Other regional winners may be invited to participate at the national level as space allows and these inventors and their teachers will be contacted following the regional convention.

A complete list of 2020 Northern New England Invention Convention awards will be announced in early March.

Regional Nominations

Program teachers and leaders nominate student winners from each school or organization’s local invention fair for the Northern New England Invention Convention. School and local programs may develop their own award systems and processes to nominate students for the Northern New England Invention Convention.

Typically this allows schools/organizations to nominate the winning inventions in each of the categories of competition per grade level: General Invention & Design Category, Challenge Invention Category, and Chain Reaction Machine Category.

Please remember that schools and organizations must be registered as a YIP Program to be able to nominate students for the regional competition. If you have not registered or are unsure, please contact us as soon as possible at 603-228-4530 x213.

Nominations
Teachers Nominate Your Students

Register an Inventor for the Invention Convention:

The Northern New England Invention Convention is an invitation only event for qualified young inventors. YIP teachers and leaders select students from their local programs to participate. Independent students may also qualify through the Academy’s Independent Students’ Invention Fair.

The parents/guardians of nominated students to the Regional Invention Convention will receive invitations with specific instructions on how to register. Inventors must register their student for the competition.

Awards for the Northern New England Invention Convention