Young Inventors to Compete in Storrs
On Saturday, May 3, UConn will host more than 650 youthful inventors at Gampel Pavilion in a spring rite that demonstrates the power of an inventive mind to change the world: the annual Connecticut Invention Convention (CIC). Hosted and co-sponsored by the School of Engineering, CIC is an exhibition of pragmatic problem solving among K-8 school children and tangible evidence that – with proper nurturing – the very young are capable of astounding ingenuity. This marks CIC’s 25-year anniversary.
In recent years, young CIC competitors have made guest appearances on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the Ellen DeGeneres Show, American Inventor, WFSB’s “Everyday Heroes” and the Martha Stewart Show, as well as educational programming on PBS’s Cyberchase and ZOOM.
“Applying their intellect and creativity to a challenge, children demonstrate they can transform concepts into real problem solutions,” said Charlie Baumgartner, CIC president and NPI Purchasing Program Manager, GE Consumer & Industrial. “It is the most gratifying experience imaginable, for the children themselves, of course, but also for the adults involved in making this happen: the teachers, parents, judges and our sponsors.”
Each year, the process begins in more than 90 elementary and middle schools across Connecticut, where students are encouraged 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 compete at the local level for the opportunity to represent their school at the state convention.
Visitors are welcome to attend the 10:00 a.m. opening ceremonies and to visit a series of child-friendly working exhibits staffed by UConn engineering faculty and students. Dr. Mun Y. Choi, Dean of the UConn School of Engineering, will deliver the keynote presentation. Visitors may explore the inventions between 12:00 and 1:30, when the awards ceremony begins. Campus tours are also available to visitors.
For more information about the Connecticut Invention Convention, visit www.CTInventionConvention.org.