Chicago Innovation (formerly Chicago Innovation Awards) acquires the Chicago Student Invention Convention with plans to expand innovation education for youth across the Chicago region
25 Chicago Public School student finalists will pitch in national competition for student inventors
at U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Washington D.C. on June 1st-3rd
CHICAGO – May 15, 2017: The Chicago Student Invention Convention – a program focused on fostering critical thinking, creativity, and innovation amongst students in grades kindergarten through eighth grade – has been acquired by Chicago Innovation, the organization that launched the Chicago Innovation Awards in 2002, and now focuses on educating, connecting and celebrating innovators in the Chicago region year-round.
“We’re excited to take the Chicago Student Invention Convention to the next level,” said Tom Kuczmarski, co-founder of Chicago Innovation. “What they’ve done over the past five years to teach the innovation mindset to Chicago’s students is so critical for creating the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs in our city. We look forward to growing this program and helping it reach even more children in the Chicago region.”
Every year in the U.S., demand for workers with an education in STEM grows. But according to US News and World Report, by the time students reach fourth grade, one-third have lost interest in science. By eighth grade, almost 50 percent have lost interest or deemed it irrelevant to their education or future plans.
The Chicago Student Invention Convention works to address this problem by igniting students’ interest in the STEM fields through fostering curiosity, confidence, and creative problem-solving. The program is a flexible curriculum supported by activities and lesson plans that culminate in a final competition featuring student-built prototypes.
“Out of 1,500 total Chicago Public School student inventor participants, 275 students from 22 schools in grades K-8 showed off their creativity and innovation at the culminating Chicago event on Saturday, April 1st at Clemente High School,” said Anneliese Gegenheimer, founder of the Chicago Student Invention Convention. “Joining them were more than 500 people to celebrate them for their inventions.”
25 Chicago Public School student finalists will compete against kids from across the country in the National Invention Convention & Entrepreneurship Expo held at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Washington DC on June 1st-3rd.
The three Grand Prize Winning students from Chicago were among those selected to attend the National Invention Convention. Triniti West, a third grader from Skinner West, won the grand prize for the No Sog Lunchbox, a lunch box insert that offers the ability to include both hot and cold lunch items in the lunch box and maintain the cool or warm temperature for each. Fourth graders Gabrielle Chandler and Lily Bazan, from Lenart Regional, won the second place prize for the Clean Feet Feeder, a pet bowl that stops your pet from spilling food and water outside of the bowl. Another third grader from Skinner, Atia Lutarewych, won the third place prize for the Water Bottle Buddy, a customizable, portable water bottle holder that attaches to the leg of a desk, providing the student a designated space to store their water bottle.
“Chicago Public Schools has worked closely with the Chicago Student Invention Convention and we are thrilled that this impactful program will be continuing and expanding thanks to Chicago Innovation,” said Jessica Mahon, Chicago Public Schools Executive Director of STEM. “Developing youth’s interest in innovation is crucial to their future and the Invention Convention is one of the best ways to spark that interest in children.”
By acquiring this program, Chicago Innovation puts itself at the forefront of organizations promoting an interest in innovation among the youth of Chicago.
About Chicago Innovation
Chicago Innovation was established in 2002 as the Chicago Innovation Awards, an annual ceremony to celebrate the most innovative products and services in the Chicago region. Since then, the organization has evolved into a year-round series of events and activities designed to celebrate innovation in the Chicago region, educate people and organizations about the principles of innovation and entrepreneurship, and connect the corners of the economy by building relationships that strengthen companies, stimulate growth, and create jobs. The organization’s expansion has included formation of the Chicago Innovation Women Mentoring Co-op to support female innovators, a Corporate Match-Making program to connect large corporations with emerging start-ups, the Winners Connection to connect Chicago Award Winners with valuable resources, an Innovation MBA in partnership with IIT that offers real-world experiential learning and $10,000 scholarships, the Chicago Neighborhood Awards to promote innovation in Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods, and now the Chicago Student Invention Convention to empower Chicago’s youth to be innovators. For more information, visit www.chicagoinnovtionawards.com. To follow Chicago Innovation on social media, visit it on Twitter (@Chi_Inovation) or Facebook (Chicago Innovation).
About the Chicago Student Invention Convention
The Chicago Student Invention Convention was established in 2012 by Sustain Foundation and is an affiliate member of the National Invention Convention & Entrepreneurship Expo. The Invention Convention is a flexible curriculum focused on critical thinking, creativity, and innovation. It is supported by activities and lesson plans and culminates in a final competition of student built prototypes. Winners of the Chicago Student Invention Convention are invited to participate in the National Invention Convention & Entrepreneurship Expo which acts as a U.S. national finals competition of local, regional, state and sectional invention competitions across the U.S. The Chicago Student Invention Convention was acquired by Chicago Innovation in 2017 and will continue to fulfill its mission to inspire curiosity, confidence, invention and creative problem-solving in our youth. For more information, visit www.chikidsinvent.org. To follow the Chicago Student Invention Convention on social media, visit its Twitter (@ChiKidsInvent) or Facebook (Chicago Student Invention Convention).
Communications and Membership Coordinator