May 14: Showtime for Young Inventors

On Saturday, May 14, 2011, UConn will welcome more than 650 young inventors who aspire to be the next Thomas Edison (lightbulb) or Mary Anderson (windshield wipers). Students in grades K-8 will showcase their novel inventions during the state-wide, 28th annual Connecticut Invention Convention (CIC) at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs. 

With a theme of “Imagination in Play,” CIC is the oldest continuously running children’s invention convention in the nation, in which young inventors exhibit their practical solutions to everyday problems. Their solutions demonstrate both impressive ingenuity and infectious enthusiasm.

Opening ceremonies will begin at 10:00 a.m. and feature Rachael Manzer, President of the Connecticut Science Teachers Association and STEM coach at the Annie Fisher STEM Magnet School in Hartford, who will deliver keynote remarks.

The inventions will be judged from 10:30 a.m. until 12:00 noon. During this portion, visitors are welcome to explore various exhibits, tour campus, visit hands-on activity booths staffed by UConn engineering faculty and students, and enjoy lunch at one of the campus or Storrs restaurants.  Teachers are invited to attend the 10:30 a.m. Teacher Forum to be held in Room 215 in Gampel Pavilion. A door prize drawing of “CIC in a Box” will complete the exciting session of networking, the exchange of ideas, discussion of new teaching methods and concerns.

The award ceremony, which is open to the public, will begin at 1:30 p.m.

The seeds for CIC are sown in the fall, when teachers across the state gather for all day training and invention experiences. Then elementary and middle school teachers at more than 100 participating schools across the state ask their students to identify a vexing problem they encounter regularly.  The children then consider possible solutions, select one and refine it into a working prototype. Nearly 10,000 Connecticut students are involved in the program and showcase their inventions at local level contests for the opportunity to represent their school at the state convention.  Students who proceed to the state-wide convention in Storrs are afforded the opportunity to share their prototype before teams of judges from industry, education and government.

The Connecticut Invention Convention is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit program underwritten by grants and in-kind support from community, educational institutions, businesses and charitable organizations, including the UConn School of Engineering, Alstom Power, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Bank of America, Boehringer-Ingelheim Cares Foundation, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cantor Colburn LLP, CASE, Comcast, Connecticut Light & Power, Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, CT Space Grant College Consortium, Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, DST Output, GE Energy Industrial Solutions, General Dynamics Electric Boat, The Institute of Materials Sciences/UConn, Liberty Bank Foundation, Lincoln Financial Foundation, Loureiro Engineering Associates,  mBLAST.com, MIT Club of Hartford, K-12 Initiative, Microsoft, Pitney Bowes Inc., People’s United Community Foundation, Stanley Black & Decker, UConn School of Business, United Technologies, Vteams, and the Xerox Foundation.

For more information on the Connecticut Invention Convention, visit www.CTInventionConvention.org.

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