How CIC Works
The Connection Invention Convention program is conducted at the school level, and progresses to the regional and state level. Below is an outline of the how the CIC works:
- Each fall, teachers register their schools online which officially enrolls the schools and provides acccess to the curriculum, teacher guides and other useful information.
- Teachers from schools who are new to the program are invited to attend local teacher training sessions which help them to understand the core tenets of the curriculum.
- Throughout the fall and winter, teachers build the CIC curriculum into their normal schoolwork, and teach children the creative problem solving process of invention and innovation.
- Teachers conduct “local” invention conventions at their schools or take part in city- or district-wide conventions, guided by the CIC. Through the school’s judging process, student inventors are identified and registered online to participate in one of four Regional Invention Conventions.
- At the regionals, students present their inventions and prototypes within small groups comprised of students of the same grade level. Judges from professions in STEM, volunteer to listen to each student's presentation and then select the students that will move on to the State Annual Invention Convention, also known as the CIC Finals. These students are then registered as a final step to participate in the Annual State Invention Convention at UCONN in Storrs, CT.
- At the Annual Connecticut Invention Convention, young inventors are given the opportunity to display their inventions to their peers and judges in groups of 8 to ten inventors. Three inventors from each group are chosen by judges as “Recognized Inventors.” Other Special Awards are given by corporate sponsors for special merit in various categories.
- From time to time, inventors may be asked to take part in follow-on programs, like CIC Inventors TV, the Invention Dimension Gallery at the CT Science Center, Women of Innovation, corporate showcases, speaking engagements, and visits to Hartford to meet with state legislators.
- Some inventors take their invention to the Next Step, by filing for patents and perhaps becoming a young entrepreneur by starting their own company, but the majority of students just look forward to participating in the CIC program again next year!
Each year, the CIC curriculum culminates with nearly 1,000 student inventors pitching their ideas to more than 400 judges at the University of Connecticut's Gampel Pavilion.