What is the Inventor’s Challenge?
Our 3rd Annual Inventor’s Challenge, brought to you by AT&T and Imagination.org, invites kids around the world to create inventions that will help solve problems in their homes, schools or communities using whatever tools and materials are available. The Inventor's Challenge fosters critical 21st century skills and attitudes, like creativity and innovation, optimism and empathy, and the willingness to experiment and take risks.
The Inventor’s Journey
The Inventor’s Journey begins with inspiration and culminates in the sharing of an original artifact made by children using whatever tools and materials are available.
5 Components of the Inventor’s Journey
Inspiration is where creativity starts. It’s the spark that moves us to explore and act, to find out more, to create something.
Think of new possibilities and explore wild ideas - the sky’s the limit. This is a time and place to embrace weird and crazy ideas, and approach things with an attitude of optimism.
Just build it. Time to choose an idea and make it real. Kids can write out a detailed plan or jump right in and “just build it".
Tinker and test creations within an environment of playful experimentation. Creations are rarely — if ever — perfect the first time around. Try things out. Iterate.
Share what you’ve made in a meaningful public context. Tell your story. Let your work affect and inspire others.
Creating an environment that fosters creativity
Barbara Mueller, Makerspace Co-founder
Gizmo CDA Makerspace, Coeur d’Alene, ID
Everyone at Gizmo is encouraged to follow their nose, kids discover (and stretch) their natural strengths and interests through stations set up around the space, and adults consistently model the behavior they want to see. Different learning styles are acknowledged and thrive here. “All I want to do is give [my kids] a vehicle or a way that allows them to understand how they process something,” Mueller says, “and they’ll be successful.”
Making the world more awesome
Steve Auslander’s 5th grade class
Allisonville Elementary, Indianapolis, IN
Steve Auslander’s 5th graders at Allisonville Elementary in Indianapolis, IN, have been part of the Imagination Chapter program since 2014. In their first year, his students chose the motto “Create to make the world more awesome,” and that ethos has stuck around. Auslander works hard to infuse a spirit of fun and play in his classroom, emphasizing real-world connections - both local and global (his kids regularly connect to local organizations and and Skype with classrooms and Imagination Chapters around the world) and embracing digital tools (his school is BYOD - Bring Your Own Device) and empowering his kids to use them with confidence. Steve shares a few other principles/best practices to ensure a classroom that’s ripe for creativity.
You’re Never Too Young / A Young Inventor with a Big Heart
Alex Knoll, Age 12
Alex Knoll’s journey with the Ability App began when he was nine years old, when he noticed a man in a wheelchair struggling to open a door. He wondered if there was a resource that could have helped the man find out which stores in the area had automatic doors? After doing some research and discovering there wasn’t, Alex decided to create his own. He developed his idea into an app through the Invent Idaho program at his school
Join The Global Movement
Help us inspire others and build the movement to foster creativity and entrepreneurship in kids around the world!
Participate in the Inventor's Challenge
We designed the Inventor’s Challenge to provide an opportunity for kids, both in and outside of school, to engage in a creative process that both fosters 21st century skills and is rewarding and fun.