Inventors Fair

35th Annual Thomas A. Edison Festival of Light
Regional Inventors Fair
presented by SONY Electronics, Inc.

February 5th-19th, 2022

Inventors Fair Overview

Since 1988, the Thomas A. Edison Festival of Light Regional Inventors Fair (TAERIF) has been inspiring thousands of students across Southwest Florida to “hatch an idea.” In a rapidly changing, highly competitive world, new ideas must be generated to balance progress with the environment. Success in education and business often requires reinvention to lead in their respective fields of specialty. This is true for the TAERIF advancing opportunities for participants as an official affiliate of the Henry Ford Invention Convention Worldwide. The TAERIF name is currently interchangeable with the Florida Gulf Coast Invention Convention (FGIC).

The Florida Gulf Coast Invention Convention will serve a five county area to include: Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, and Lee. Leadership is currently served by the TAERSIF Steering Committee which meets virtually and monthly. All school districts, businesses, organizations and private parties with an interest in encouraging science, technology, engineering, math, invention and entrepreneurship in our region may attend meetings as guests until such time interest to serve on the steering committee is shared.

“Ideas are useless unless they are nurtured. They can grow into inventions, and inventions can change the course of history!”

Why Have an Invention Program?

  • raises self esteem
  • fosters enthusiasm for new learning
  • grows an appreciation of everyday things
  • not limited to gender, race, creed or color
  • promotes interdisciplinary studies
  • challenges the application and synthesis of knowledge
  • broadens and tests a wide range of research skills
  • encourages scientific and engineering practices
  • promotes networking
  • generates new experiences

The Invention Program Rubric (K-12)

    • Identifying & Understanding (Problem recognition skills; scientific discovery & application)
    • Ideating (Critical and creative thinking)
    • Originality (Uniqueness; product/method and intellectual property research)
    • Design, building, testing, and refining (Engineering through to proof of concept; safety)
    • Logbook*** (Validation of process; evidence; witnesses)
    • Market potential (Usefulness, relevance, demographics)
    • Value proposition (Product life; environmental & social impact, cost effectiveness)
    • Prototype/model ($50 expense limit for national competition)
    • Display board (Physical or digital board) — A concise visual ‘invention travel log’
    • Presentation: Nonprofessional, unedited video (Avoid Q&A session) or person-to-person
    • Product production (Manufacturing)
    • Sales options (Market research, licensing versus business development)
    • Business plan

*** A GREAT Logbook provides a thorough documentation from beginning to end, accurately detailing the rubric above. Check out the 2022 RECOMMENDATIONS for a GREAT LOGBOOK.

Competition Levels


Our 2022 Florida Gulf Coast Invention Convention (Thomas A. Edison Festival of Light Regional Inventors Fair) will be conducted VIRTUALLY on the zFairs platform once again.  Judging will take place during the middle two weeks in February. Winners will be announced during a Virtual Awards Program.

Refer to Calendar of Events for precise dates and times.

Elementary (Grades K-5), Middle School (6-8), and High School (9-12) participants come from public, private, parochial and home-schools in Charlotte, Collier, and Lee Counties and will compete virtually within their respective Divisions.


The Henry Ford National Invention Convention holds a national and a global competition.

Our affiliate will advance a minimum of five (5) student finalists to Nationals. 

To learn the most up to date information:

Why Enter an Edison Fairs Competition?

  • All students have an opportunity to present their work to the public, other students, and some of the approximately 300 category and special award judges.
  • All participants receive a certificate of participation.
  • Grade Level Awards, including First, Second, Third, and possibly Runner-Ups, are awarded on the basis of judges’ scores using algorithms to maximize fairness.  
  • Elementary, Middle, and High School Division Winners receive an honorary ride in the Edison Festival of Light Grand Parade. (If a parade is scheduled)
  • Special Awards selections for additional prizes and scholarships are based on donor guidelines from individuals, universities and colleges, businesses, and a host of organizations.
  • Advancement Awards acknowledging participants to represent FGIC at The Henry Ford ‘National’ Invention Convention Worldwide in Dearborn, Michigan.

Got Inventors Fair Questions? Contact Us!

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