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Challenge your students with the 2013-14 Inventors Competition!

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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 will not reproduce well in the magazine. Also, to facilitate clean scanning of winning drawings that will appear in the magazine, 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, 2014.

Mail all submissions to:

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

Emergency Power Solutions

World-renowned inventor Phineas Quirkbotham and his nephew Thaddeus have been discussing the critical need for effective emergency power generation systems that could be used when power is lost as a result of a natural disaster. Power loss in the wake of New Orleans’ Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the East Coast’s Hurricane Sandy in 2012—as well as a number of devastating tornadoes in the Midwest in recent years—have left many families and organizations without power for extended periods of time. Phineas challenges Thaddeus—and your students—to devise creative ways to generate power in these types of emergency situations.

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 2014 issue of the magazine. The top three competitors will also receive a book or poster of their choice from Tech Directions Books & Media. 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. 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 2013-2014 Tech Directions Inventors Competition. We wish them luck—and we look forward to seeing the solutions they will come up with!


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