Most inventions follow the same formula for success by being:
- Carefully recorded in a log or journal (Young children may use pictures or dictate information to someone)
Ask these questions along the way to see how you are doing!
- Did you find a unique, unusual, or clever solution to the problem?
- Did you research to find out? (This should yield an age-appropriate response: a young child might ask a number of people; an older child might explore catalogs, stores and related companies, search the internet or even a patent database. Record what you researched.)
- Does the invention solve the problem?
- Does it do what it is supposed to?
- Does it work even better than expected?
- Does it solve other problems, too?
PRACTICALITY OF THE INVENTION:
- What advantages and disadvantages does this invention have as compared to other similar inventions?
- How much thought was given to safety, ease of use, and choice of materials?
NEED FOR THE INVENTION:
- How important is the problem solved by the invention?
- Who benefits from it, many, few, or only the inventor?
- Does it serve a disadvantaged group, like the handicapped, the elderly, or animals?
- Is the invention more or less friendly to the environment than currently available products?
RECORDING YOUR INVENTING PROCESS:
- How well did you explain the steps taken from beginning idea to invention?
- Did you date and list these steps in your inventor's log book?
- Did you include resources you used, problems you ran into, reasons for choice of materials, final design, and testing? Was credit given to those who helped?
- If you can answer the above questions well, your invention should be well received by the judges.