OPEN TO 6TH - 8TH GRADERS
ACROSS THE DC METRO REGION

What will you make to protect life on this planet?

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 19 – January 31, 2020

Design & Build – September 2019 – May 2020

Invent the Future Workshops (optional) – starting October 2019

Presentations at Challenge Summit – May 2020

Teams can win prizes, and earn SSL hours for participating in the Challenge Summit in May 2020.

GUIDELINES

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

Make a physical representation of your invention; it does not need to be fully functioning, but it needs to communicate your idea and be something that you made.

Spend no more than $60 on materials for your invention.

Present at the Challenge Summit in May for a chance to win awards and prizes. See the Markers of Success below; complete rubric coming soon.

MARKERS OF SUCCESS

Idea

Idea

Your project explores new ideas and approaches to protecting life on this planet, applies these ideas in innovative ways, and demonstrates the impact of the solution.

Process

Process

Your project shows evidence of your team going through multiple stages of a design cycle, complete with seeking feedback, learning new skills, and working together.

Presentation

Presentation

Your team’s presentation of ideas is clear and effective, and the prototype illustrates your solution to the Challenge Question.

INVENTION PREPARATION

Participants have the option to prepare for the Challenge at KID Museum with a series of skill-building workshops! Students gain skills in design, engineering, electronics, and coding while collaborating with their peers to brainstorm and prototype inventions of their own design.

Team Leads: Resources

Additional resources for teachers and coaches

LEARN MORE

Teachers: Weekday Field Trips

Series of five visits to KID Museum

LEARN MORE

Students: Skills Series

Weekend workshop series: Jan. – Feb. 2020

REGISTER

Teams: Innovation Exchange

Gather to exchange ideas and learn from peers

COMING SOON

INVENTION INSPIRATION

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

CHALLENGE SUMMIT

May 9, 2020 | Paint Branch High School

The Invent the Future Challenge Summit is the culminating event and celebration of the Invent the Future Challenge.

Teams from across the region present their prototypes after working through the Invention Studio program at KID Museum or independently in and outside of school. These prototypes are judged by local business leaders and professionals.

In May of 2019, 41 schools represented by 189 teams presented solutions to the Challenge question.

The Challenge Summit truly serves as a celebration of the creativity and ingenuity from every team and the hard work they’ve put into their solutions throughout the year.

Photo Credit: Edwin Remsberg Photography

2019 AWARD WINNERS

Idea

  • Argyle Middle School: The Trashulizer 3000
  • Herbert Hoover Middle School: Safe B Plastics
  • Multi-School Team: Detection and mitigation of aflatoxin in crops
  • Sidwell Friends School: The Throw and Grow Cup

Process

  • Argyle Middle School: Nurd Nechs, Inc.
  • Herbert Hoover Middle School: Tri-Disposable Cup
  • Robert Frost Middle School: Saltwater Purification
  • Silver Spring International Middle School: Design Nation

Presentation

  • Earl B. Wood Middle School: Inventors 101
  • Neelsville Middle School: Wind Powered Oven
  • Roberto Clemente Middle School: Ultrasonic Algae Shark
  • White Oak Middle School: Garden of the Future

Judges’ Choice

  • Benjamin Banneker Middle School: Alternative Transportation
  • Newport Mill Middle School: Ground-Effect Vehicle
  • Sligo Middle School: Dam/Water Filter
  • Team Tech Ninjas: Smart Gardener Watering System

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.