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. (Note: final determination as to whether the event will be virtual or live has not yet been made.  We have noted where any requirement is different for virtual or live)

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 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 has been uploaded to the registration system . Creating Invention Documentation
  • 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.
  • The student will create a Display Board or Display Presentation. PDFs of the Display Board or the Display Presentation must be uploaded to the registration system (VIRTUAL ONLY).  Creating Invention Documentation  Note that the student can submit both of these types of Display Documentation if they desire,  Only one is required.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • We ask that each invention is categorized 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:
    • The prototype/invention should be no more than 2 feet high and 2 feet wide and be able to set on a table top.
    • Other requirements will be added here as we receive them.
"Kids Inventing Their Future"