“It is important to recognize that the entire story of civilization is based on invention. Invention is historically one of the strongest driving forces in human affairs. If children can comprehend invention, they can better understand the past and the present and predict the future more reliably.”
— B. Edward Schlesingers, Jr.

All K-12 grade students are invited to participate in The Thomas A. Edison Festival of Light Regional Inventors Fair presented by SONY Corporation. This program is the Florida Gulf Coast affiliate of the Henry Ford National Invention Convention.

Help your child to understand the importance and numerous opportunities of participating in the Florida Gulf Coast Invention Convention Worldwide. The lessons learned can raise the bar for a lifetime! This unique educational opportunity promotes your child’s potential development of lifelong skills in preparation to meet and contribute to the demands of the future.

Children are full of surprises. Creative problem-solving can give you new insights about your child. Recognize interests you may not have been aware of and help expand opportunities for their growth.

Opportunities for prizes and scholarships are offered as incentives to students. A child’s experience should NOT be diluted by the selection of winners. It is wise to remember many important discoveries and inventions were not at first accepted or appreciated for their benefits. The overall experience is intended to generate more creative thinking and problem-solving skills, not to mention a greater appreciation for how things are often taken for granted yet were invented at some time by someone.

At the regional level, only one scholarship or award should be expected per project. Awards will be provided based on availability and merit. Team projects are acceptable with an understanding of award limitations. Where possible, all team members will be recognized with awards. If selected, all team members can advance to the national competition.

Sharing in the process of inventing with your children or their classmates is not only acceptable; it is encouraged. The emphasis here is on being supportive rather than assuming a lead role. The Inventors Guide Logbook is a dated and witnessed record of all the thoughts and work of the student. It should be used to record all assistance provided to the student inventor.

Fairness and safety are very important for all involved. Inventors must meet all safety rules and regulations to participate in the Regional Fair.


Accurate, timely communication can be enhanced with access to parent/guardian phone numbers and emails, especially for elementary and middle school participants at the regional level. Student registration on the Florida Gulf Coast affiliate zFairs website will ask for contact information. During regional competitions and through nationals, contact with teachers and family members is beneficial.


A hybrid fair using a combination of both ‘In Person’ and Virtual portions may prove of value. Please understand whichever approaches are used will be in the best interest of safety, efficiency, and experiential value. This means a video presentation and virtual display board go hand in hand, as well as a physical display board during in-person judging.

Safety is of paramount importance at live events. If you would not allow your child to attend an event away from home without supervision, this is no exception. A parent/guardian is not allowed on the judging floor during the designated judging period. Please plan to take precautions at all other times during the event.

Special arrangements will be made for students with special needs. Please contact soon after being informed your child is a Regional Fair Participant. Ask to speak with an Inventor Fair administrator if any concerns arise the day of the Fair. If not resolved to your satisfaction, request the attention of the Inventors Fair Director.

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