Welcome to the Invent the Future Challenge — one of the region’s largest annual science, technology, engineering, and design, challenges for middle schoolers!

The Challenge supports development of innovative thinking, technical and social emotional skills, and an interest in STEM — inspiring and supporting educators along the way.

Invent the Future is open to all middle school students and is designed to fit into classroom curriculum or as an after school club.

What does this mean for my students?

Students who participate in the Challenge gain much more than technical skills. They learn to work collaboratively, be critical thinkers, and persist through failure. They learn that they can make an impact on the world around them.

What does the Challenge mean for me as an educator?

Teachers report that this program has reenergized them, opening up a new way to teach and inspire kids to learn.

Why is this important?

Middle school students are at a critical time for identity-formation and are making choices that can impact their higher education and career paths. The Challenge activates students’ technical skills in the context of creative problem solving and real-world challenges, empowering them with a sense of confidence and agency needed to apply these skills for future success.

Who participates?

Teams come from across the DC region, including public and private schools, as well as parent-led teams that can combine students from different schools. In 2019, 189 teams representing 41 different middle schools participated in the Challenge.

How can KID Museum help me?

Over the past few years, the team at KID Museum has refined this program to include curriculum integration, a variety of resources, professional development, and guidance to successfully involve their students in this design challenge.

  • Invention Studio is a series of five skill building workshops led by KID Museum educators and contains content which students can utilize as they design their projects.
  • Invent the Future Project Curriculum is a series of 14 lessons navigating through the engineering design process and provides a foundation for projects.

If you are interested in learning more about Invention Studio skill building workshops, the Invent the Future Project Curriculum or professional development opportunities, please contact

Let's get started

Step 1: Build your team(s). Each team is made up of 3-6 middle school students (6th – 8th grade) and needs an adult Team Coordinator. Coordinators can sponsor multiple teams.

Step 2: Teams choose an environmental problem to solve and design a prototype. (The prototype does not need to be fully functioning but must communicate their concept.)

Step 3: Create a prototype. Teams cannot spend more than $60 on materials!

Step 4: Teams present their inventions and receive feedback from judges/STEM professionals and all teams are eligible to win awards and prizes.

Resources from KID Museum

Click on the buttons below to access your Team Resources, including the Invent the Future Challenge Guide, information about professional development, and more.


Questions? Contact us at


Benjamin Banneker
Briggs Chaney
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Francis Scott Key
Montgomery Village
Roberto W Clemente
Shady Grove
Silver Spring International
White Oak