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Judging Criteria

Most inventions follow the same formula for success by being:

  • Original
  • Effective
  • Practical
  • Needed
  • Carefully recorded in a log or journal (Young children may use pictures or dictate information to someone)

Ask these questions along the way to see how you are doing!


  • Did you find a unique, unusual, or clever solution to the problem?
  • Did you research to find out? (This should yield an age-appropriate response: a young child might ask a number of people; an older child might explore catalogs, stores and related companies, search the internet or even a patent database. Record what you researched.)


  • Does the invention solve the problem?
  • Does it do what it is supposed to?
  • Does it work even better than expected?
  • Does it solve other problems, too?


  • What advantages and disadvantages does this invention have as compared to other similar inventions?
  • How much thought was given to safety, ease of use, and choice of materials?


  • How important is the problem solved by the invention?
  • Who benefits from it, many, few, or only the inventor?
  • Does it serve a disadvantaged group, like the handicapped, the elderly, or animals?
  • Is the invention more or less friendly to the environment than currently available products?


  • How well did you explain the steps taken from beginning idea to invention?
  • Did you date and list these steps in your inventor's log book?
  • Did you include resources you used, problems you ran into, reasons for choice of materials, final design, and testing? Was credit given to those who helped?
  • If you can answer the above questions well, your invention should be well received by the judges.


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