Introduction: How to Run an Inventor's Challenge in Your Community

About: The mission of is to find, foster and fund creativity and entrepreneurship in children around the world to raise a new generation of innovators and problem solvers who have the tools they need …

What is the Inventor’s Challenge?

Our 4th Annual Inventor’s Challenge is brought to you by AT&T and, a new division of Two Bit Circus Foundation. Kids around the world are invited 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.

Step 1: Choose Your Category

There are four individual prize categories. One winner will be chosen from each, and each winner will receive a tablet, a BitsBox coding learning system, and a certificate!

  • Thomas Edison Prize (Individual, Grades Pre K-2)
  • Alexander Graham Bell Prize (Individual, Grades 3-5)
  • Nikola Tesla Prize (Individual, Grades Pre 6-8)
  • Leonardo Da Vinci Prize (Individual, Grades 9-12)

There are two group prize categories. These have two possible ways to enter: either by making a single group video about a single idea, or by submitting a playlist of individual videos by the members of the group.

  • The Grace Hopper Incubator Prize (Group Video Only, All Ages)
    • Prize: $1000 mini-grant to fund the group invention
  • Special Library Prize (Group Video or Playlist, All Ages)
    • Prize: A one-year membership to the Two Bit Circus Foundation Upcycled Materials Warehouse. This includes 100 units/pounds of art supplies and STEAM learning aids diverted from by-products of manufacturing. Examples include: fabric, mylar, foam, wood, glassware, cardboard VR headsets, ball-pit balls, and thousands of other things.


  • There is no need to register separately for the library prize; libraries will automatically be considered for both.
  • Being part of a group video does not enter the participants for the individual prizes, but they can submit additional videos of their own in those categories if they register independently.

Step 2: Register in Your Category

Fill out the registration form. After you submit it, you will be directed to a page that has the Official Playbook for download or to view as a slideshow.

Step 3: The Judging Criteria

Judging will be conducted by a panel of Imagination Foundation and AT&T employees. The Panel will evaluate all valid entries and pick a winner for each category. All videos will be judged based on the following criteria: originality, level of inspiration and overall creativity.

Originality: Entries must give an indication of being one-of-a-kind, new, fresh in some demonstrable way. They may draw inspiration or derive from objects that already exist; but they would be an iteration or improvement that is unique.

Usefulness: Entries should be clearly inspired by an interest in solving a problem identified locally or in one’s immediate community. Judges will look for inventions that demonstrate the potential to make a positive difference in the lives of others. The intent behind the design and the benefit of using the invention should be detailed in the video.

Creativity of Design & Presentation: Overall, your invention should be unique, clever, useful, well-designed, and smartly presented. Rehearse and possibly even script your presentation in order to make your video clear and engaging. The video will be included in the judging process, so practice and make sure it is a creative, accurate reflection of your amazing invention.

Step 4: Make Your Video

Your video should be 3 minutes or less. Set the video in a quiet location with good lighting and a non-distracting background. You can watch this video for the Garbage Grabber as inspiration. A YouTube playlist of more videos can be found here.

Here’s what to include in your video:

  • What’s the name of your invention?
  • What problem does it solve?
  • What does your invention do?
  • What inspired you to create your invention?
  • Who does your invention help?
  • Did you run into any challenges?
  • How did you overcome them?
  • A mention of the Inventor’s Challenge,, and AT&T Aspire in your video credits.

Step 5: Submit Your Video

Submit your contest entry video by uploading your YouTube video link to by Friday May 31, 2019.