Requirements, Restrictions and Creating Invention Documentation

Listed below are the Requirements and Restrictions for participating in the California Invention Convention in April 2024.  All participants must adhere to these rules.

In order to participate in the California Invention Convention and the National Invention Convention (NIC) in the Spring, there are certain restrictions and requirements. Unless noted otherwise, all requirements and restrictions apply to both the California State Invention Convention and the National Invention Convention.

  • The inventor must be completely registered through the online registration system with all required information and documentation.
  • The inventor MUST have a COMPLETE Invention Log.  This log must be kept on an ongoing-basis from the beginning of the project and should reflect the student’s invention process.
  • A PDF of the student’s completed Invention Log must be uploaded to the registration system . Creating Invention Documentation
  • The student will create a Display Board or Display Presentation.
    • OPTIONAL PDFs of the Display Board or the Display Presentation can be uploaded to the registration system Creating Invention Documentation  Note that the student can submit both of these types of Display Documentation if they desire.  (Note: This is required for the National Invention Convention)
  • A 4-6 minute video must be submitted through the registration system. During this video, the student will present the problem, the solution and how they achieved the solution – as well as any issues that had to be overcome.  The invention/prototype and display board should be used as visual aids – along with anything else that helps the inventor present the invention. Guidelines for creating the video are here: Creating Your Video
  • The prototype/invention should be no more than 2 feet high and 2 feet wide and be able to set on a table top.  If it is larger, then a model of the invention and/or pictures of the invention is required for the competition.  (This is also a requirement of the National Invention Convention).
  • 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.
  • Inventions cannot be demonstrated on humans or animals at the event.
  • There are no electrical outlets available at the venue.  If required, it is the responsibility of the inventor to bring a battery pack. (This restriction also applies to the National Convention)
  • 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, ammunition, fireworks, knives of any size, mace, pepper spray, razors, box cutters or balloons.
  • We ask that each invention is categorized during registration according to the list below. It may be that an invention doesn’t exactly fit one of these categories, but have the student choose what is closest. The categories are also required for the National Convention.
    • Agriculture and Food
    • Animal Care and Pets
    • Consumer Goods and Fashion
    • Earth and Sustainability
    • Education (Technology, Systems, Tools, Hardware)
    • Energy
    • Health and Medical
    • Home Organization and Appliances
    • Manufacturing and Tools
    • Safety
    • Sports, Games,, and Toys
    • Transportation
  • Additional National Invention Convention restrictions:
    • PDF of the Display Board must be uploaded during the registration process.
    • Any additional requirements will be added here as we receive them.
"Kids Inventing Their Future"