Young Inventors Converge on Campus

Gauri Kumhar, 7, receives an award for her invention regarding reusable and edible rice bowls. (Lucas Voghell ’20 (CLAS)/UConn Photo)
Gauri Kumhar, 7, receives an award for her invention regarding reusable and edible rice bowls. (Lucas Voghell ’20 (CLAS)/UConn Photo)

Nearly 300 youths from around the state brought their best ideas to Gampel Pavilion Saturday, to vie in the  36th annual Connecticut Invention Convention.

Elementary, middle, and high school students participated in the statewide competition, which is designed to develop, encourage, and enhance creative problem-solving skills through invention and innovation. Student prototypes were judged by peers and adult judges.

The event has been hosted by the University of Connecticut for the past two decades. The School of Engineering initiated the partnership in 1999, and continues to serve as a primary partner. Since then, other UConn ties have developed. The Neag School of Education provides interns for curriculum development, the School of Law offers assistance with patent applications, and the Institute of Materials Science financially supports the endeavor. The Dairy Bar also once test-marketed one young inventor’s patented product: Egghead ice cream.

Since its inception, an estimated 300,000 K-12 students have participated in programs organized by the Connecticut Invention Convention.