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 19, 2021. If you plan to participate, be sure to mark your calendars for these important dates.

State Invention Convention:

  • January 20, 2021: Registration opens
  • February 22, 2021: Competition materials are due
  • March 22, 2021: Students are notified of their qualification status
  • March 29, 2021: Qualifying students must commit to State Convention
  • April 19, 2021: State Invention Convention

National Invention Convention:

  • TBD: National Invention Convention
Inventor Window Sign

Congratulations to all the inventors involved in the 2020 state convention, and a big thank you to all the teachers and parents who support the students and their inventiveness!

Even though we aren't able to hold the Invention Convention in person this year, it's still cause for celebration! We encourage all who entered Invent Iowa to show their inventing pride with this free Inventor window sign.

2020 State Invention Convention Winners

Invention Convention Program

This year's Invention Convention goes virtual! View the winning inventions with the Invent Iowa 2020 Award Tour on Google Earth. Fly through the sky to each winning inventor's school. To view more details about each invention, click on "Present" or a particular invention.

You can access a list of all inventors and their inventions in our 2020 State Invention Convention Program.

Winning inventions will advance to the National Invention Convention, brought to you and hosted virtually by the Henry Ford Museum. A force for sparking curiosity and inspiring tomorrow's innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs, The Henry Ford fosters learning from hands-on encounters with authentic artifacts. The Henry Ford leads the Invention Convention Worldwide community and works to make STEM + Invention + Entrepreneurship (STEMIE) learning accessible to educators and students worldwide. Awards are supported by Invent Iowa and our sponsor, McKee, Voorhees & Sease, PLC - we thank them for their generosity and support of inventiveness.

2020 National Convention Winners

A huge congratulations to our Invent Iowa finalists who won awards at the 2020 National Invention Convention! This marks the 4th year in a row that Invent Iowa finalists have won at the national competition.

Charles Smith (1st grade, Ottumwa Community School District) won 1st place in the 1st grade division for the H.E.R.B. (Home Emergency Responder Beacon), an exterior light that can be placed on a house or mailbox that creates a beacon for emergency workers, activated by a wireless signal from a smoke detector, dispatch or LifeLine. Sujan Vijayraj Shadrak (7th grade, Linn-Mar Community Schools) won the Energy Industry Innovation Award for the Cool on the Go, a portable thermoelectric cooling system.

How to Participate

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


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.


Each submission is evaluated by a panel of judges at the University of Iowa. Judges will use the Invention Convention Worldwide 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 Invention Convention Worldwide!


Initial invention submissions require a $10 fee per student. 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 20 - February 22.

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

How to Prepare

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


Invention Convention Worldwide Curriculum

Invent Iowa uses the Invention Convention Worldwide rules and guidelines.

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?

Registration is currently closed.

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