Your environment. Your invention. Your future.

People have been trying to help the environment for decades. Now, it’s your turn. Form a team of your peers and tackle one of the biggest issues of today, for a better tomorrow…

Challenge Question

Think of an environmental problem, big or small, that needs to be addressed. Now, think of a solution to that problem; an invention that would address that problem. Use your imagination to push beyond today’s limits to invent the future.

If you accept this challenge, your team must not only dream up an invention, but also design and prototype that invention. Use engineering, coding, and design techniques to turn your ideas into something tangible. High-tech or low-tech, mechanical or digital…

What will you make to protect life on this planet?

The future is up to you.

Challenge Timeline

Registration – September 14 – January 31, 2019

Design & Build – September 2018 – May 2019

Invent the Future Workshops (optional) – starting October 2018

Presentations at Challenge Summit – May 11, 2019

Teams can win prizes, and earn SSL hours for participating in the Challenge Summit on Saturday, May 11 at Gaithersburg High School.


Form a team of 3-6 middle school students (6th – 8th grade) and one adult coordinator (18 years+).

Make a physical representation of your invention; it does not need to be fully functioning, but it needs to be something tangible! 

Spend no more than $60 on materials for your invention. Teams can use a Challenge Starter Kit (Arduino and associated parts) for $30.

Present at the Challenge Summit in May for a chance to win prizes. See Markers of Success below, and download the complete rubric.

Markers of Success

At the Challenge Summit, a panel of experts will be reviewing inventions for: Originality, Team Collaboration, Design Process, Potential Impact, Presentation.



The team explores new ideas and approaches to protecting the planet and applies these ideas in innovative ways.

Team Collaboration

Team Collaboration

The team works through the Challenge process as a group, working together and using the talents and abilities of each team member.

Design Process

Design Process

The team uses an iterative design process, with a cycle of prototyping, testing, analyzing and refining.

Potential Impact

Potential Impact

The team’s project and ideas have the ability to make an impact not only on their surrounding environment but also on a larger scale.



The team is able to effectively and creatively communicate their invention and the ideas around it.


Looking for some inspiration to help you get started? Here are a few projects that we hope will spark new ideas.
Remember the Challenge asks for prototypes, not necessarily full-sized or fully functioning inventions.

Energy-Saving Streetlight

Energy-Efficient Bottle Car

Trash Collecting Drone


The Invent the Future Challenge Summit showcases the inspiring work of middle schoolers across the region. At the Summit, student teams present their prototyped inventions to a panel of industry experts. Click below for highlights from the first-ever Summit in May 2018.

The 2019 Summit is set for Saturday, May 11 at Gaithersburg High School (registration coming soon).


The Invent the Future Challenge was made possible by KID Museum’s groundbreaking partnership with Montgomery County Public SchoolsThe Challenge is open to all middle schools across the DC Metro region.