31st Annual Connecticut Invention Convention (CIC) This Weekend: Encouraging Kids to Get Excited About STEM

 |   Lauren Metter

CTInventionConventionThe 31st annual Connecticut Invention Convention (CIC) is happening this Saturday, May 3rd, at UCONN from 8:30am-1pm. The CIC is the nation’s oldest continuously operating children’s invention competition—a globally recognized non-profit educational program designed to get kids in grades K-8 excited about invention, innovation, entrepreneurship, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).

The event this Saturday brings together the state’s finalists, close to 1,000, drawn from 10,000 kids participating in over half the school districts in Connecticut to present their inventions—as well as our own Anissa Battaglino, John Mutchek, Katy Kos, and Joshua Drew, who have volunteered to judge!

In fact, we at Microsoft New England have supported the event for almost 15 years. We provide six Microsoft accessibility awards to kids whose inventions have to do with accessibility and donate Xbox Live and Office 365 products to the inventors.

“The kids’ creativity is amazing, and every year we have inventors who go on to apply for patents, look into actually manufacturing their products, or building businesses around them,” CIC Executive Director Helen Charov told MSNE.

Aligning with our fervent support for the necessity of STEM education, the CIC hopes to get children excited about engineering and inventing at a young age. According to Charov, studies show that 65% of kids make a decision about what they want to study in high school and beyond as early as 8th grade.

“Right now, in the US, only 17% of kids in high school identify themselves as wanting to major in the sciences or engineering,” Charov said. “We’ve got to create a bigger pipeline going into the future. Not everyone will become an engineer or a scientist, but everyone can become a better problem solver, in whatever field they choose to pursue.”

“The CIC is hoping to take this message out to other states, and to create a national push to give every child an opportunity to become an inventor, innovator and entrepreneur.”

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