FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

In addition to the fantastic Cricket Magazine, Faber-Castell, and Bitsbox prizes as well as the Camp Invention® Scholarship, Smithsonian Books and Washington D.C. Trip, Winners will also participate in an informational and educational seminar and one-on-one consultation with U.S. Patent and Trademark Office subject matter experts on the use and importance of protecting their intellectual property through patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. For a complete list of all available prizes, please visit our prizes page.

Who can join the Challenge?

Young inventors aged 5 to 18, either individually or on teams, compete in four age divisions:

● Ages 5–7
● Ages 8–10
● Ages 11–13
● Ages 14–18

What types of entries are accepted?

In addition to presenting an invention idea that improves access to healthy food for everyone, everywhere, every day, each entry must show the process by which the invention idea was developed, showcasing the completion of the 7 Key Steps of the Invention Process. Suitable Entry Formats: PowerPoint Deck (either the provided template or entrant’s preferred PowerPoint format) or Video.

Note: Submission uploads must be under 2GB in one of the following allowed file types: ppt, pptx, avi, mov, mp3, mp4, mpg

What are the rules?

Each Challenge entry must adhere to the complete Official Rules, identifying a real-world problem related to improving access to healthy food for everyone, everywhere, every day, and demonstrating all seven of Spark!Lab Key Steps of the Invention Process. For the invention submission, Entrant can use either the provided PowerPoint template, Entrant’s preferred PowerPoint format, or video. For the evaluation criteria for judging, see the Scoring Guide. The Challenge will accept entries between December 6, 2019 and 11:59 pm EST on June 19, 2020. Winners will be announced on July 17, 2020.

What are the prizes?

In addition to the fantastic Cricket Magazine, Faber-Castell, and Bitsbox prizes as well as the Camp Invention® Scholarship, Smithsonian Books and Washington D.C. Trip, Winners will also participate in an informational and educational seminar and one-on-one consultation with U.S. Patent and Trademark Office subject matter experts on the use and importance of protecting their intellectual property through patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. For a complete list of all available prizes, please visit our prizes page.

What are the steps to submit?

Students must document completion of each of the 7 Key Steps of the Invention Process in a PowerPoint or video and submit their entry, Cover Photo, and Parent Consent Form(s) anytime between 12:00 AM EST, December 6, 2019 and 11:59 PM EST, June 19, 2020, by following submission instructions found on the Submit page.

Who are the judges?

The team of judges is comprised of experts at Cricket Media and the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.

Who is Cricket Media?

Cricket Media® is a mission-based global education company creating high-quality print and multi-media products for children, families, and teachers. Led by its 10 award-winning children’s magazines and research-tested collaborative learning and eMentoring platforms, Cricket Media is committed to creating and supporting innovative learning experiences that help children safely explore and engage with their expanding world.

What is the Smithsonian Lemelson Center?

The Lemelson Center is the Smithsonian’s home for the study of invention and innovation.  Through its historical research, educational initiatives, exhibitions, and public programming the Center advances new perspectives on invention and innovation and fosters interactions between the public and inventors. For more information please visit http://invention.si.edu.

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