Danielle Romero 
New Jersey Technology Engineering Educators Association 

Event Date

Saturday April 27, 2013 from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM EDT

Add to my calendar 

The 3rd Annual

Thomas Edison Invention Challenge

Event Invitation

The New Jersey Technology Education Association in cooperation with The Edison Innovation Foundation, PSEG & NJIT is proud to announce the 3rd Annual Thomas Edison Invention Challenge.


The Main Event

The event will take place on April 27th on the campus of NJIT in Newark NJ. Students from middle school and high school grade levels will gather to display prototypes of inventions and innovations involving alternative forms of energy. The day of the event will be a large scale, high profile event designed to showcase student inventiveness. The day will include student presentations, guest speakers, an education fair and other educational activities.

Competitive teams may submit thier designs in such typical catagories as:

*  Energy Systems - for buildings, structures etc.

*  Applications - Heating, cooling, electricity, motive power

*  Toys / Games - Educational, entertaining, etc.

*  Novelties - Personal, gifts, home & garden, etc.

[This is not an exhaustive list of possible catagories.  Teams are free to propose any idea they wish]

The Goals of the Program

1.     Promote awareness of Thomas Edison

2.     Promote knowledge of alterative energies

3.     Encourage and celebrate design, creativity and ingenuity

4.     Connect New Jersey education with business and industry

Competition Requirements

Students in teams of NO MORE THAN FOUR may compete. 

The competition is to be entirely student designed and constructed while making use of teachers and mentors for guidance purposes only. Students will begin with a short essay discussing Thomas Edison.  Students must submit portfolio documentation outlining plans and intended outcomes prior to the construction of the prototype.  This documentation will be provided to students in the form of an “Invention Notebook”. This notebook must be used to show documentation of research and solutions that they have considered. Notebooks will be available in electronic format for easy downloading and printing for various schools. 

A prototype of their idea must be demonstrated at the Invention Challenge Event. Students can assemble their models out of any material, but the event will encourage the use of recycled materials to minimize costs.  In many cases prototypes do not function as intended.  This is totally acceptable as the primary goal is student learning.

Students will demonstrate entrepreneurial skills how to bring their idea to market. The students must conduct market research to prove the validity of their idea. A presentation of their work will be a component of their interview.

Schedule of Events

October 1,  2012 – Announcement of Challenge, date and location

October 19, 2012 – Registration closes.  Teacher manuals distributed.

November 1, 2012 – Teams must submit names of students, teacher and a team name.

December 1, 2012 – Teams must submit an essay, not to exceed 750 words.  The essay topic will be “Thomas Edison’s effect on my life today”.

March 1, 2013 – Teams must submit electronic images of their design logs.  At this point teams receive both an alternative energy kit and a camera to document the build process. 

April 27, 2013– Thomas Edison Invention Challenge Event held at NJIT.

Support Materials for Teams

You will be provided with a “start up kit” (over $200 in value) containing materials pertinent to your prototype.  Teams will also receive a digital camera to document the building of their prototype.

Benefits to Students

  • Experience the true nature of seeing an idea through from concept to completion.
  • Learn about the emerging field of alterative energy and understand the impacts that Thomas Edison had on the technology of the future. 
  • Have the opportunity to work with mentors from industry for expert advice and exposure to career pathways. 

Awards will be given to students (in teams of up to 4) in several different categories including but not limited too:  Most Innovative, Best Marketing, Best Use of Materials, Best Documentation, Best All Around, Best Prototype.

Benefits to Teachers

  • Receive real world professional development experiences that will translate to their classrooms and improve their quality of instruction.
  • Honorariums will be offered to participating teacher to compensate them for the time that will be required outside of the normal school day.  The honorarium will be  $250 per advisor for managing and guiding their team of up to four students.
  • Excellent exposure for their school and program.

Benefits to Supporters

  • Have a unique opportunity to work along side of students as they prepare their entries for the competition.
  • Have exposure at the event and in all press releases as supporters of education in innovation in our students. 
  • Observe promising student talent and School-to-work connections
  • Observe how Technology Education and STEM concepts bring problem solving minded people into with workplace.
  • See new alterative energy concepts and their possible connections to industry.
  • Most importantly, participating sponsors will be able to have a direct impact on students and possibly change their lives forever.


More information, schedules, documents and rubrics will be distributed to registered teams in mid-October.  

Any questions can be directed to Kenneth Zushma, program coordinator, via email at