Important Dates & Times

not specified
Sunday April 12, 2020 at 8:00 PM
Saturday April 25, 2020 at 8:00 AM
Saturday April 25, 2020 at 4:00 PM
Saturday April 11, 2020 at 11:00 AM

In order to participate in the California Invention Convention, there are certain restrictions and requirements.

All inventions must have an associated 4-6 minute video created according guidelines Creating Your Video.  These videos must be submitted through the registration system no later than April 10th in order for a student to participate.

• Remember that animals are not allowed at the California Invention Convention, so if the invention is for animals,it must be demonstrated in pictures – or on a stuffed toy. Demonstrations/presentations may not include human beings or living creatures.

• The display board must be no larger than 24”’ with the wings folded in.CAM_8406.png

• Each inventor must have a COMPLETED, SIGNED Invention Log.

• The invention does not have to be a working model, but the inventor needs to be able to explain how it would work. If it can be operational, it should be.

• Inventors may not use lighters, matches, candles or any other open flame or heat source or anything material or liquid considered combustible.

• Inventions may not contain biohazards or utilize any materials that are, or could become dangerous.

• Other restrictions include: electric stun guns, martial arts weapons, guns, replica guns, ammunitions, fireworks, knives of any size, mace, pepper spray, razors, boxcutters and balloons.


California Invention Convention is an initiative to bring invention education into California schools and to celebrate the young inventors with a state-wide event.  In the 2015-2016 school year, we did a proof-of-concept at Pacific Elementary in Davenport with 20 children from Grades 5 and 6 inventing and sent 4 of these young inventors onto the 2016 National Invention Convention and Entrepreneurship Expo (NICEE) in Washington DC. During 2016-17, we ran our pilot program — with 20 plus schools participating — some in Santa Cruz County and some in Santa Clara. 

Our first California Invention Convention was held April, 2017 in Santa Cruz with 55 young inventors attending and eight top inventors chosen to attend the national event.    We have continued to grow the program — training new teachers and welcoming new schools into the program.  Over 3500 students went through the program in their classrooms and 180 young inventors attended the 2019 California Invention Convention held at Maxim Integrated in San Jose on April 13, 2019.  Forty-five of our top young inventors were chosen to attend the National Invention Convention  held May 30-June 1, 2019 at The Henry Ford in Dearborn, MI.

Winners from the 2020 California Invention Convention will go on to the 2020 National Invention Convention at The Henry Ford in Dearborn MI June 3rd-5th, 2020

The goals of the California Invention Convention

  • Bring STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) invention education to 1,000,000 K-12 students throughout California 
  • Provide opportunities for students to be recognized and valued for their inventions through Regional and State Invention Convetions
  • Include all qualified student invention programs as part of a state-wide California Invention Convention program

California Invention Convention is a tax exempt entity in the process of obtaining 501(c)(3) status.  We are an affiliate of The Henry Ford

Due to health concerns around COVID-19, the California Invention Convention will be held virtually this year

Alll participating students must register through this registration system, including submitting a video, no later than April 10th.

The judges will review the videos prior to April 25th

On Saturday, April 25th, the judges will be calling students at a pre-arranged time on the  for a short interview.  We will send the schedule of the interviews to each student once they are assigned.

The judges will be entering their scores online.  Award winners will be notified by email and names will be posted on the California Invention Convention website with 3 days of the event.








Agriculture, Pets and Animal Care
includes Agriculture (Food, Machinery, Tools), Pets and Animal Care
Consumer Goods and Fashion
Consumer Goods and Fashion - if invention doesn't fit into any of the other categories and it is something a person would buy, then it is consumer goods
Earth, Environment and Geosciences
Education (Technology, Systems, Hardware, Tools)
Education (Technology, Systems, Hardware, Tools) - anything that helps students or teachers in the classroom or students with their homework.
Energy Efficiency, Clean technology, Energy Generation
Energy Efficiency, Clean technology, Energy Generation
Health and Medical Technology
Health and Medical Technology
Home Organization
Home Organization
Home Technology
Home Technology including Smart Homes, Appliances
Household Tools
Household Tools - Any invention used around the house that doesn't fit the other Home categories
Public Safety / Public Good
Invention can be used for for improving the safety of the public or used for the public good
Sports, Games, Entertainment and Toys
Sports, Games, Entertainment and Toys
Technology Wearables
Technology Wearables - technology with a purpose that can be worn.
Transportation - Invention improves the means of transport or travel from one place to another

Judging Criteria

This year, the Invention Logs will not be available for the judges and so will not be a scoring criteria


  • A poster board/trifold describing problem, solution, process.
  • A prototype / model / invention (which may be non-working) but inventor can explain how it would work
  • An unedited 4-minute video that the inventors have created using guidelines Creating Your Video.

Inventions are judged on the following criteria:

  • Ability to clearly define the problem
  • Originality of the invention or how it is an improvement over similar inventions
  • The process the inventor used
  • Effectiveness - does the invention solve the stated  problem?
  • Practicality of the solution
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