As responsible adults, whether parents, guardians or teachers, it is our moral responsibility to foster the development of important skills in our children. Our encouragement will go a long way in motivating children to optimize their creativity, develop ability to solve problems, develop an analytical mind and most importantly think positively about everything around us, to know, grow and improve. An invention contest is such a platform where young minds are provided with opportunities to demonstrate these skills independently as they invent a new product or process or bring about an improvement to an existing product.

There are many invention contests which are held annually across America. Organized primarily for school-going children, these invention contests encourage the participants to identify a need or to solve a problem by following steps in a structured manner. It is through these contests that budding brains get exposed to concepts like patenting, patent protection, etc. Participation in invention contests also help in the development of their communication and research skills. Winning a prize motivates them further to pursue their creative skills. They even learn about successful inventors and develop a positive attitude about the invention process as described by Invent Help.

Invention contests help students in the following way: they keep an open and curious mind about their surroundings; they get into the habit of acquiring information about an idea, a problem or a future invention before beginning to invent; they become more disciplined as they go through many trials and errors while they invent; continually strive to improve upon an idea; participation and winning trigger their ambition to better themselves and their inventions for future.

The class teacher plays a very important role for students who are likely to participate in invention contests. They are the prime source for guidance, motivation and encouragement. They also help in signing or distributing the requisite forms and documents to the participants; holding discussions with the students individually or in groups to plan and execute their invention in a proper manner for participating in a contest. The primary-level children need more help and guidance than older students. They may be able to draw, imagine or write about an invention but putting things together for participating in a contest is the responsibility of the parent or the school teacher.

While different invention contests have different official rules, a few of the points are common: all inventions must be original and each entry must be submitted by one student who has worked on it alone, with the guidance of a parent or teacher. These contests also specify categories of invention, for instance, apparel, household, automotive, lawn/garden, media, software, cosmetics, medical, etc.

The official entry form for an invention contest must be completed in all respects and signed by the inventor, his or her guardian and teacher. Usually the contest committee asks for sketches of invention backed by an essay to narrate the functional areas of the invention, like what it does, how it functions, the origin of the idea and so forth. There are patenting agencies that could help as you can read from this Invent Help review. Some invention contests also allow videos, CD or DVDs which shows how the invention works.