Students & Families

You have the power to make a difference.

The many environmental problems facing our planet today can seem overwhelming. But don’t get down. Get creative.

Welcome to the Invent the Future Challenge, where each year more than 800 middle schoolers take on some of our planet’s biggest problems and invent real solutions.

You’ll get to work with a team, learn new skills, solve problems creatively, and persist through failure — all skills for the future. Your future.

Be a part of the solution. Invent the future.

Let's get started

Step 1: Form a team with 3-6 middle school students (6th – 8th grade). Each team needs an adult Team Coordinator. Coordinators can sponsor multiple teams.

Step 2: Choose an environmental problem to solve and make a physical representation of your invention (prototypes do not need to be fully functioning). Don’t spend more than $60 limit on materials.

Step 3: Present your inventions at the virtual Challenge Summit in May for a chance to win awards and prizes!

The Invent the Future Challenge has gone virtual? Planning to participate? Let us know!


Ready for more?

Want to form a Challenge team?
Family members can sponsor a team or share information with their school.

Already on a team?
Check out the real-world inspirations to get started and check back here later for more information on getting some help while fine-tuning your prototypes. Learn More

Save the date for the 2021 Challenge Summit!
Join other student inventors at the Summit in May 2021 to showcase your work. Present your invention to the community, get inspired by others, and have your chance to win awards and prizes.

Details: TBA

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.

Air Ink

Air Ink captures air pollution before it enters the environment and converts it into ink.


Bite Toothpaste Bits

A toothpaste tablet packaged in recyclable, refillable glass containers, designed to eliminate the need for plastic toothpaste tubes.


Questions? Email us at