Invent Iowa!

Have you noticed someone having a problem that you think you can fix? Do you have an idea for a product that will make the world a better place? Invent Iowa is the state's foremost competition for budding inventors and entrepreneurs! K-12 students can submit their inventions for a chance to show them off at the state invention convention. If you win big here, you'll earn a spot to represent Iowa at the National Invention Convention, where you will learn more about the invention process and compete for exciting prizes!

About the Program

The Invent Iowa State Invention Convention takes place on April 20, 2020. If you plan to participate, be sure to mark your calendars for these important dates.

State Invention Convention:

  • January 17, 2020: Registration opens
  • February 21, 2020: Competition materials are due
  • March 16, 2020: Students are notified of their qualification status
  • March 23, 2020: Qualifying students must commit to State Convention in order to attend
  • April 20, 2020: State Invention Convention in Iowa City, Iowa

National Invention Convention:

  • TBA: National Invention Convention in Dearborn, Michigan

Inventors compete in two divisions: Kindergarten – 5th grade, and 6th – 8th grade. Winners qualify to compete at the National Invention Convention at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. The Belin-Blank Center awards first place winners from each division an expense-paid trip to the national competition.

Congratulations to our 2019 winners!

2019 State Invention Convention Winners

Kindergarten - 5th grade division:

  • 1st place: Kelty Raap & Sadie Takes (4th grade, St. Pius X Catholic School), for their "I C Safety Straw," a straw made of ice to reduce plastic use.
  • 2nd place: Luke Amaro & Lexi Geiskemper (5th grade, Alburnett Community School District), for their "Absorbo-Rocks." These are rocks made of absorbent material that will capture excess water in fields and let it back out when the weather becomes hot and dry.
  • 3rd place: Charles Smith (Kindergarten, Ottumwa Community School District) for his "Benge Beacon," a bright light to mark exits in homes to help firefighters and residents locate them more easily.

6th - 8th grade division:

  • 1st place: Grace Brand & Sara Schutte (6th grade, Pleasant View Community School District) for "The Noise Neutralizer," a flashing light system to alert people when the noise level is too loud
  • 2nd place: Dylan Hunt, Thomas Nugent, and Rebecca Yanacheak (8th grade, Adel-Desoto-Minburn Community School District) for their "Eazy Shuck," which makes shucking corn an easier and safer process.
  • 3rd place: Chloe Goedken & Ellie Kronlage (6th grade, St. Francis Xavier Catholic School) for "The Adjust A-Q," a pool cue that can be adjusted in size to avoid hitting the walls around a pool table.

2019 National Invention Convention Winners

  • 1st place at the Kindergarten grade level: Charles Smith (Ottumwa Community School District)
  • Patent Application Award: Dylan Hunt, Thomas Nugent, and Rebecca Yanacheak (8th grade, Adel-Desoto-Minburn Community School District)
  • Inventor Communication Award for "Best Pitch": Kelty Raap & Sadie Takes (4th grade, St. Pius X Catholic School)

How to Participate

Want to join us? We're here to help with all the information you will need in order to participate.

Eligibility

Students in public, nonpublic, home schools, or in after school programs are welcome to participate, as are students who are working independently. Students from outside the state of Iowa are welcome to participate.

Selection

Each submission is evaluated by a panel of judges at the University of Iowa. Judges will use the National Invention Convention Rubric. You will be notified if your submission qualifies to be presented at the State Invention Convention. The top winners at the State Convention will be invited to attend the National Invention Convention at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

Cost

Initial invention submissions require a $20 fee per invention. Payment can be made by credit card, purchase order, or checks made out to the Belin-Blank Center.

If an invention qualifies for the State Invention Convention, there is no fee to attend. Our generous sponsors include the Iowa DNA Technologies, McKee, Vorhees and Sease, PLC., and the Belin-Blank Center.

Submitting Your Invention

You can register your invention on this website from January 17 - February 21.

Please submit the following:

  • Inventor name(s), date, grade, school, city
  • A copy of the inventor's log. Please note that this copy will not be returned.
  • Invention registration fee

Submit all materials to:

  • Invent Iowa
  • Belin-Blank Center
  • 600 Blank Honors Center
  • Iowa City, IA 52242

How to Prepare

Want to join us? We're here to help with all the information you will need in order to participate.

Local Invention Convention

Schools and groups are encouraged to organize local invention conventions to provide students with the opportunity to share their inventions and receive direct feedback. However, participation in a local convention is not a prerequisite for submitting an invention application to the State Invention Convention. The Belin-Blank Center does not host or sponsor local conventions. Individual students have the option to enter without going through a school program.

Ready to Register?

You can register your invention on this website from January 17 - February 21.

Contact Us