To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.

Thomas A. Edison

Middle School (grades 5-8)

High School (grades 9-12)

Creativity, critical thinking, innovation, teamwork, and communication skills are recognized as the skills that prepare students for increasingly complex school, work, and life environments.

The Pennsylvania Invention Convention is designed to showcase student problem-solving, innovation, creativity, and ingenuity while making learning fun!

Elevator pitch - A short conversation (sales pitch) that will (hopefully) lead into a deeper dialogue about the functionality, and specialty, of what you can offer. It is a summary used to quickly and simply define a process, product, or service and the value it provides to the listener. The name reflects the idea that it should be possible to deliver the summary in the time span of an elevator ride. In practice, you typically only have a short time to leave an exciting, impactful, and meaningful impression.


December 31, 2018 ENTRY DEADLINE

All Pennsylvania students (public, charter, & private) in grades 5 to 12 are invited to enter this competition.


1. Online Virtual Competition

Students will create a prototype* of their invention and submit an elevator product pitch (up to 3 minutes) video describing their invention. PETE&C judges will view videos and select the competition FINALISTS.

2. On-site Competition at PETE&C

Competition finalists will be invited to attend the PA Invention Convention held at the Hotel Hershey in Hershey, PA during PETE&C (a statewide technology conference for educational technology).

Competition finalists will...

  • display their inventions
  • share a short elevator product pitch with conference attendees and judges)
  • answer questions from conference attendees and judges.

*Prototype: A model of a product that is used for testing before it is manufactured. Prototypes help designers learn about the manufacturing process of a product, how people might use it, and its durability.

For this competition, participants will create a physical prototype (versus a virtual prototype). Essentially, the prototype is a real model of your invention--something that enables a user, investor, or developer to imagine or experience how the invention works. The prototype does NOT need to be a fully functioning prototype; however, the quality of your prototype may get you to the next level of the competition. The prototype may be made from any type of (safe) material.

NOTE: Student created apps and programs are also acceptable prototypes.

The prototype may be made from any type of (safe) material.

  • balsa wood
  • card stock
  • tape
  • cardboard
  • paper
  • fabric
  • 3D printed parts
  • wooden craft sticks
  • clay
  • foam core board
  • dowels
  • blocks (e.g., LEGOs)
  • wood
  • metal
  • plastic
  • recycled products/parts

This competition is sponsored by PETE&C.

Middle School (grades 5 - 8); High School (grades 9 - 12)