Inventor Judges Make A Difference

Since 1988, the Thomas A. Edison Festival of Light Regional Inventors Fair has been inspiring students across Southwest Florida to “hatch an idea.” In a rapidly changing, highly competitive world, new ideas must be generated in every aspect of a business to keep it healthy. Most successful businesses constantly assess and reinvent themselves.

Through our Regional Inventors Fair, students in grades K through 12 learn age appropriate creative thinking techniques, intellectual property rights, product development, marketing vs. licensing options, and business. This Fair Program teaches participants what to do with an idea, what steps to take to develop it, protect it, pay for it, and eventually share and profit from it.

The 2021 Competition will require a Virtual platform for the first time in the 34 year history of the program.


Encourage student creative thinking and problem solving skills

Youthful minds are full of ideas and expectations. Daily experiences and learning about the world around them can be daunting. The invention program provides the means to express what is meaningful to them and ultimately make a difference. Judges can empower students to believe in themselves, to recognize the Power of One.

Demonstrate the benefits of networking

Be supportive by giving positive feedback and when age appropriate, provide helpful information to demonstrate the benefits of networking and sharing ideas for the greater good. New product development requires interacting with people with expertise in each of the judging categories. Give students credit for the personal work they have performed and acknowledge them for understanding the importance of learning to network.

Foster the qualities of honesty, integrity and trustworthiness

Recognize students who give credit to individuals who assisted them. Treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself. Judges can instill the importance of good business practices to impress upon students values that lead to success in life and in business.

Empower the student

Every student has the ability to make a positive difference. The one most important objective of holding the inventors fair is to raise the student’s self esteem. He or she found a problem and came up with a solution in the form of an invention. This individual investigated whether or not the idea was obvious to others, further proving its usefulness. Thought was given to protecting intellectual property as well producing and marketing it. Judges can promote a feeling of self worth in each and every child. Not everyone wins an award. The influence you have on each student can have a lifelong impact. Do not make promises of success but inspire them to persist. The Inventors Fair gives them the opportunity to learn the process. You get better at it the more you try. Share Thomas Edison’s failures as well as successes. Encourage future participation regardless of the outcome in this year’s event.

Encourage students to address problems they encounter in everyday life and on a bigger scale, in the community, the state, the nation and even on a global scale.

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