Saturday, May 15, 2021
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Our History and Milestones


In the 1980s and 1990s, there were considerable efforts in Connecticut schools to better identify and serve all students, at both ends of the spectrum. Both Special Education and Gifted Education were addressed by law and programming blossomed in many Connecticut schools. For the Gifted and Talented, at our universities and in our schools, educators sought a variety of specialized activities to address multiple intelligences and talents.


In an effort to network and consolidate efforts, a teacher group called CENTAG (Connecticut Educators Network for Talented and Gifted) formed and met to share good ideas and programs. Some were wider use of earlier offerings, such as Great Books and Debate League. Others included the organization of a statewide literary magazine and encouragement for national/international competitions such as Future Problem Solving and Olympics of the Mind. Still others addressed mathematics (i.e. Math Counts) and science (i.e. Girls in Science).


Connecticut Invention Convention (CIC) was established in 1983 by Michele Munson, a teacher of the Gifted and Talented in Farmington, and other teachers interested in looking for a product-oriented avenue of creativity, an integrated school unit of instruction that would benefit many different kinds of learners. Over time and under Ms. Munson's leadership and perseverance, Connecticut Invention Convention went mainstream.


It was decided to focus on K-8 grades exclusively in order to provide proper foundations and attitudes to encourage involvement in science and engineering in later course choices. Historically, as far back as CIC records exist, the population of girls has equaled or surpassed the number of boys each year. CIC is proud to be a driving force in STEM programming offered at appropriate grades to make a difference in gender involvement.


The University of Connecticut School of Engineering at Storrs begins co-hosting the CIC Finals event. By providing an exciting venue for students and families, the School of Engineering brings many Connecticut families to campus for the first time and provides further affirmation that a college education for all is more than just a dream.


The Connecticut General Assembly provided a grant to CIC to begin a strategic plan for expansion. Thanks to our representatives' foresight and goodwill, we grew to over 100 schools and nearly 700 inventors at the 2011 state event. More underserved districts are receiving direct support from nearby businesses and what was once a simple event has transformed into a year round educational movement in support of invention, innovation and entrepreneurship.



CIC continues to develop plans and methods to reach every K-8 student once, better twice, with the spirit of invention here in the State of Connecticut and, we propose, beyond our borders. With the help of the University of Connecticut and our corporate sponsors, we are implementing new teaching products, new curriculum, new regional opportunities, new software, and new flexible programming to suit every teaching environment.  As a result, CIC surpasses its participation goals of 200 schools and 15,000 students by May 2016, one full year earlier than expected, hosting its largest finals event ever.  We believe that this exciting and fulfilling invention experience is the core of our nation’s future and we hope to promote its vision everywhere.


CIC reaches over 250 schools and 17,000 students. The first National Invention Convention and Entrepreneurship Expo (NICEE), spearheaded by staff and members of CIC's Board, takes place at the USPTO offices in Washington, DC, hosting nearly 300 students from across the nation, one third of which represent Connecticut. (  


CIC bids farewell to its Executive Director and Outreach Director and welcomes a new Executive Director, Education Director, and Program and Events Associate and together with the Operations Director, the CIC initiates four CIC Regional Events around the state which elevates 1,600 more students from their school programs to another level, giving them additional opportunities to interact with judges and mentors before the Annual State Finals Event. For a second year, one third of the participants at NICEE are from the ranks of Connecticut Invention Convention students.


After successfully executing a second year of CIC Regional Events around the state, CIC responds to feedback from parents and teachers and puts Regional Events on hiatus.  CIC bids farewell to its Program and Events Associate and welcomes back its high school inventors. For the third year, nearly one half of the participants at NICEE, now moved to The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn, Michigan, are from the ranks of Connecticut Invention Convention students.  CIC students are featured in local and national media with an increased following on social media.  CIC's Director of Education joins the Teaching and Learning Staff of The Henry Ford.