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How to Become a Semi-Finalist

How to Enter

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Inventions must be original. Each entry must be submitted by one student with the mentorship of a parent(s) and/or a teacher/mentor.  Group inventions will not be accepted.

Official Entry Form.  Submit a neatly completed Official Entry Form with your entry. It must be signed by the inventor, his/her parent or guardian, and his/her teacher/mentor.  The signature on this form attests to the originality of the entry and verifies that the invention submitted meets the rules of the competition.  Entry forms lacking the required signatures will be disqualified.

Sketch of Invention.  Draw your invention with a diagram of how it works.  Hand drawn or computer renderings are acceptable.

Essay.  Prepare a description of the invention that does not exceed 1,000 words.  The description should be neatly written in black or blue ink or typed.  The description should give the name of the invention and include the following paragraphs:

  • Paragraph 1 - Explain the use of the invention.  What does it do?
  • Paragraph 2 - Explain the invention's mechanics.   How does it work?
  • Paragraph 3 - Tell how you came up with the idea.
  • Paragraph 4 - Explain why you think there is a need for this invention and how people will benefit from it in society.

Submit a visual of your creation.   You must send one or more clear visuals of your invention that shows it in full, and you using it.  You may send photograph(s), a video (VHS format), a CD, a DVD, Power Point or Flash Drive of no more than 5 minutes showing your device and how it works. This visual must be received by mail; visuals sent by email will not be viewed or considered for judging. (If you are entering by email, your visual should include a copy of the 1st page of the Entry Form so that we may combine all Entry materials). 

Send Your Entry Materials.   Send all entry materials including Official Entry Form, Essay, Sketch, Photo(s) and optional VHS Video, CD, DVD, PowerPoint or USB thumb drive to:

The National Museum of Education
1145 Highbrook St., Suite 308
Akron, Ohio   44301

DO NOT SEND YOUR INVENTION MODEL UNLESS YOU ARE NOTIFIED THAT YOU ARE ONE OF THE TEN SEMI-FINALISTS.  If you are notified that you have been selected as a semi-finalist, you must immediately submit a working model of your invention via UPS to the address provided to you upon notification. (A UPS shipping charge number will be provided to you.   Pack your model well; models received in broken or non-working condition will be disqualified.) Also, you and two parents/guardians must be prepared to travel to Massillon, Ohio for an Awards Ceremony in June 2016 as a finalist.

Entry Deadline.  All entries must be received by The National Museum of Education by 5:00 p.m. EST on MAY 13, 2016 (NEW EXTENDED DEADLINE!).   Entries received after the above date/time will be disqualified.  

The National Museum of Education and Shearer's Foods, Inc. are not responsible for: lost, late, mutilated or illegible entries nor for mail or shipment errors or delays resulting in omission, defect, delay, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to or alterations of entry materials, or for technical limitations of any kind, or inaccurate transmissions of or failure to receive entry information by The National Museum of Education or Shearer's Foods, Inc. on account of technical problems, or shipment problems or errors.

Please Note: Do not put any identifying information other than your name on any page of the Official Entry Form other than the first. Do not use report covers, binders or folders.   All sheets should be 8-1/2" by 11".   Staple all written materials, sketch, and photo(s) including the Official Entry Form with one staple in the left-hand corner. Essays, sketches or diagrams, photos, videos, CDs, DVDs, PowerPoint and Flash Drives will not be returned to the contestants. Students may enter only one invention. Contestants who are selected as finalists and one parent/guardian must be prepared to travel to Massillon, Ohio for an Awards Ceremony in June 2016 at the Shearer's Foods, Inc., 4100 Millennium Blvd., Massillon, OH . 

Permission to Duplicate.   Students, teachers, and parents are welcome to duplicate any part of this competition information (including the Official Entry Form).  All entries must be accompanied by a copy of the Official Entry Form.



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