Tuesday, March 02, 2021
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Judging Criteria for Inventor Guidelines

All CIC judges will follow these same guidelines when they judge your invention. As you progress through the various steps of developing your invention, use these judging guidelines to help you prepare your answers to the kinds of questions that judges will ask.

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're 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 you 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 you?
  • 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 used, problems they ran into, reasons for choice of materials, final design, and testing? Was credit given to those who helped?