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Challenge your students with the 2014-15 Inventors Competition!


Competition Guidelines

Students should:

1. Provide a written description of their product.

2. Use drawings to help explain and illustrate their designs. All drawings should be either computer-generated or hand-drawn in ink. Use only one side of the paper and use only plain paper—no graph paper, please, since it would not reproduce well in the magazine. Also, to facilitate clean scanning of winning drawings that will appear in the magazine, please do not fold the drawings.

3. On an additional sheet of paper, describe the benefits of their system’s design and any other relevant details.

4. Include on their submission their grade level, their teacher’s name and email address, and the postal address of their school.

Submit entries by January 31, 2015.

Mail all submissions to:

Inventors Competition
Tech Directions
PO Box 8623
Ann Arbor MI 48107-8623

Alternative Energy for Chicago

World-renowned inventor Phineas Quirkbotham and his nephew Thaddeus have been discussing the importance of inventing alternative energy systems to help address the energy needs of large cities. As a result of their discussions, Phineas challenges Thaddeus—and your students—to design such a system.

The city that Phineas designates is Chicago, IL, located on Lake Michigan in the nation’s Midwest. Phineas further specifies that the design of the alternative energy system may include design of buildings or other structures necessary to house the system and should be aesthetically pleasing to residents of the city. And in a change from past tradition, this year judging for the competition will be divided into two divisions: 6th-8th grades and 9th-12th grades.

If Professor Quirkbotham and inventor/engineer/assistant judge Harry T. Roman determine that your students’ ideas are among the best, they will receive a Tech Directions Inventors Award certificate and their solutions will be published in the May 2015 issue of the magazine. The top three competitors (1st Place, 2nd Place, and 3rd Place) in each division will also receive a book or poster of their choice from Tech Directions Books & Media. Two Honorable Mentions will be awarded in each division. All winners will have a notable accomplishment to list on future resumes and college applications, and they’ll bring good publicity to your technology and engineering education program.

The judges suggest that each student think broadly and creatively in brainstorming many ideas, then select his or her single best idea to submit to the competition. This approach allows for really focusing attention and effort on the best idea. The judges also encourage students to let ideas flow freely and not be afraid to unleash their imaginations.

We hope you’ll encourage your students to take part in the 2014-2015 Tech Directions Inventors Competition. We wish them luck—and we look forward to seeing the creative solutions they will submit

4. Students must include on their submission their grade level, their teacher’s name
and email address, and the postal address of their school