Congratulations on your decision to participate in the Invention Convention! This is an exciting project to be a part of, but can be confusing and overwhelming at the same time. This experience should inspire and educate you about the world of inventing and how a simple idea can become a major contribution to society. Give this project your best effort because it might be the next big invention!

The best way to get started on your invention process is to research and read about other inventors. This information will be fun and educational at the same time. You will be surprised how many inventors stumbled on their inventions. After you have researched inventors and inventions, you will need to decide on what you want to present at the invention convention. Sometimes it is easier to think about a need that isn’t being met by products and services that are available to consumers right now. If this process doesn’t turn up ideas, you can think about an existing product and what could be invented to make that product better. If you decide you would rather not invent a product, you can invent a new process instead. Once you have an idea for your invention, you have to develop a plan to invent. You will need to think about possible research for you invention, materials that you will need, controlling costs, which steps you want to follow, and how to test your invention for usability and safety. It is important for you to move forward following the plan you just drafted up. Follow it step by step and seek expert help if you need it. Work through anything that you find difficult until it becomes easier. If you decided to invent a new process and not a product, you will need to describe the process in a report. Be sure to explain all the details of the process and test results that you have showing that your idea works. Once you have completed your invention, you will need to fill out a Patent Application.

You have completed most of the work at this point, now you need to decide how you want to display your invention and make your display. It is important for your display to be attention grabbing and eye catching because you are trying to sell others on your idea and you will be judged on your promotion of the invention. All that’s left to do now is attend the convention and present your invention. You will talk to judges about your invention and show it off to others as well, so be respectful, informative, and confident. Keep in mind, you have already finished the hardest part and have accomplished so much by bringing a completed project to the convention. Your invention will be judged on specific criteria that can be different for each invention convention. You can find sample judging rubrics online. Find a few different ones if you can and make sure your invention meets the criteria on each one.

The most confusing parts of inventing are patents and trademarks. A patent protects your invention from others for twenty years from the date of filing. It keeps others from making or selling your invention. This keeps your idea yours. It is a major accomplishment to achieve patent status on your invention, but if you decide not to try to patent your idea, or try and do not receive a patent, you are not a failure. You have still invented something, which is not an easy process. When you are thinking of what you want to invent, you should search existing patents and make sure your idea hasn’t already been invented. You may or may not have a trademark for your invention. A trademark can be a word, phrase, or logo that identifies your product and makes it stand out from others. Trademarks have to meet certain guidelines to be protected by the government.

Participating in the Invention Convention is stressful, but fun. Once you have completed the convention, winner or not, you should feel very proud of the work you did to get to the convention. The process will give you a new respect for simple inventions that you use every day and will more than likely keep you thinking about what you could invent to improve society. If you do not enjoy the process or the convention and take nothing away from it when you are finished, that’s alright as well. You may think you have received nothing from the process, but in reality, you found out that you do not enjoy the inventing process and can rule it out for your future.

There are many resources to help you in your inventing process: