Tier 1: VIRTUAL COMPETITION
Every participant submits a virtual entry into the competition. Finalists will be selected from this pool of participants to attend the face-to-face competition at PETE&C in Hershey, Pa.
- determine a need for a product.
- research existing products.
- design and build an invention prototype (it does not have to be fully functional).
- submit a complete online registration form by the entry deadline.
- must upload their video during the online registration process.
- must upload documents to support their design process. These documents may include drawings, sketches, notes, notebooks, and photos.
- evaluate inventions on originality, construction of prototype, functionality, design, practicality, creativity, usefulness, feasibility, and marketability.
- award winners ribbons for 1st Place, 2nd Place, 3rd Place, The People's Choice, and Honorable Mention.
- invite finalists to participate in the PA Invention Convention.
- Invention teams may consist of no more than four students.
- Schools may have multiple team submissions.
- Students may only submit one invention (either a team submission or an individual submission).
- Invention prototype must be created during the current school year or reflect substantial improvement upon the work created in a prior school year.
- Invention prototype may be completely original or build upon an existing invention in an original way.
- If a student submits a prototype of a similar commercially available item, it will not be disqualified from the competition; however, it may impact whether the project is selected as a finalist. You are encouraged to search Google images with creative keywords to see if the product already exists. If the product exists, you must change it in some substantial/meaningful way.
- Questions or interpretations of these rules are within the sole discretion of the Competition Coordinator who holds final say on all matters.
To score well on originality, it is important that your solution is original and does not already exist or is substantially different from another invention. The organizers of this event understand that it is difficult to come up with an idea that is completely original or even mostly original, so in the spirit of developing student inventors please encourage your students by telling them that they "think" like inventors and the proof is that their idea is commercially viable.
Here are some places to research if your idea already currently exists:
- Libraries (ask a librarian for advice on where to look!)
- The Internet (e.g., www.google.com, www.bing.com)
- Stores (e.g., www.amazon.com, www.bestbuy.com, www.walmart.com, www.target.com)
- Books about your topics (look up at www.bn.com or www.amazon.com)
- Professionals in the Industry (check out www.linkedin.com for possible people to interview)
- Trade/Industry-Specific Publications (each industry has topical magazines and websites about the industry)
- United States Patent and Trademark Office (Visit www.uspto.gov to search for patents and trademarks)
- Domain registrars (e.g, www.GoDaddy.com to see if your product name .com is taken)
- A parent, guardian, school teacher, or administrator must attend the PA Invention Convention with their students.
Inventions may NOT contain:
- any type of weapon: sharp-bladed objects, knives, electric stun guns, martial arts devices, guns (replica guns), ammunition, Mace/pepper spray)
- hazardous chemicals, dangerous materials, or bio-hazards.
- fireworks, lighters, matches, candles, or open flames
Tier 2: Finalists COMPETITION
- evaluate inventions on originality, construction of prototype, functionality, design, practicality, creativity, usefulness, feasibility, and marketability. [See Rubric]
- will distribute awards for 1st Place, 2nd Place, 3rd Place, The People's Choice, and Honorable Mention.
- Inventions displayed at the competition must fit in 2 x 2 cubic foot area.
- Wall outlet electricity (120 VAC) may NOT be used at the competition; however, battery powered devices are fine.
- NOTE: If your invention cannot be actually demonstrated at the competition due to issues with size or electricity, a video of the device can be shown at the competition.
- Approximately five (5) high school invention teams will be invited to PETE&C in Hershey, Pa.
- Approximately five (5) middle school invention teams will be invited to PETE&C in Hershey, Pa.
- Finalists are encouraged to bring documents to support their design process. These documents may include drawings, sketches, notes, notebooks, and photos.
- Finalists may bring poster boards, laptops, tablets, televisions, projectors, and projection screens to show any type of media related to describing the invention process.
- Finalists are NOT permitted to bring professionally created displays.
- Finalists are NOT permitted to distribute items of any type (e.g., promotional items, gifts) to any event attendees (e.g., candies, flowers, trinkets, brochures, photos).
- PA Invention Convention attendees (PETE&C attendees, parents, teachers, students, and other invitees) will vote with PETE&C "dollars." The inventions garnering the most "investments" via PETE&C "dollars" will win the the People's Choice Award.
Prizes will be split equally among all team members:
- 1st Place - $300 Amazon gift cards (per entry)
- 2nd Place - $200 Amazon gift cards (per entry)
- 3rd Place - $100 Amazon gift card (per entry)
- Honorable Mention - $50 Amazon gift card (per entry)
- The People's Choice Award - $300 Amazon gift card