Educator Guide


The Illinois Student Invention Convention (ISIC) trains you in its project-based K-8 curriculum that will guide your students through the invention process. The curriculum is free, flexible, and standards-based (aligned to NGSS and Common Core).

With dynamic activities and flexible pacing guides, the ISIC curriculum can be adapted to fit your classroom’s unique needs. The traditional implementation is to lead two sessions a week (30-45 mins each) over the course of 10 weeks. You are eligible to participate if you are an educator who reaches K-8 students in Illinois at:

schools (public and non-public)
youth centers & out-of-school-time learning spaces


NGSS and Common Core Standards Aligned
Meets requirements while enriching student learning
Student-Centered Learning
Problem-solving begins with student interests and ends with their own expertise
21st Century Skills
Enhances core skills like creative problem-solving, collaboration, resilience, empathy, etc.
STEAM meets entrepreneurship meets ELA. Invention Education expands across disciplines.
Differentiated Education
The lessons accommodate varied student needs and learning styles. Innovation is for everyone!
New to Invention Education?
The full grade band curriculum is available to take your students through the invention process from start to finish.
Already doing something fun?
ISIC can provide an authentic audience and venue for students to showcase their hard work.
Implementation Possibilities
Ideal for 10 weeks with 2 sessions a week but scalable to an Invention Week or Invention Month.


Register for an ISIC account and sign-up for an orientation

All educators interested in participating should register for an ISIC account. This will be your homebase for program materials.

Once registered, educators sign up for an orientation to become a trained invention convention educator.

Attend an orientation

Experience parts of the curriculum, explore our resource hub, and plan for your context.

Administrators can attend alongside educators or use our materials to train their own teams. Customized orientations can be arranged by contacting the program manager.

Start Planning: Educators are welcome to use the curriculum in whatever way works best for them. Given your context, you will:

Choose the setting. (During class time, after school, or at home?)

Select which grade levels will participate. (​​Multiple grade levels from K-8 at each site; Minimum 1 student inventor with no maximum)

Decide when the program will run. (10 or 12 week pacing is most common, but “Invention Week” or customized pacing options are available)

If you plan to send students to the competition, project registration usually takes place at the beginning of March. While we encourage all of our sites to select student finalists for the competition, it is not a requirement.

Submit Implementation Plan

10-15 minute survey on how you will implement. (setting, grade levels served, estimate student numbers, and general time frame)

Completion is required for access to curriculum and to send students to the competition.


For educators who want to make use of all our resources, here are the opportunities available:

Use Invention

Connect to resources by logging in to your ISIC account to access:

*K-8th grade, NGSS-aligned Invention Curriculum

*Resource Hub (additional learning tools, videos, and more!)

*Events Calendar (PD for educators and events for students)

Engage with the Community

Engage mentors!
Sign-up to be paired with an industry professional with innovation or entrepreneurial background. Mentors share real-world experience with students, and provide feedback on invention projects.

Engage with invention educators!
You will be part of this professional community and can network with like-minded educators across the state.


Select Student

The number of student finalists that each site can send to the virtual competition is usually announced in February.

You may host a local school/district competition to determine your student finalists. Invite families and other classes to come in and view the invention prototypes! You can also pick finalists without a competition.


Participate in competition and showcase

Virtual Competition
Serve as a virtual judge. You will not be assigned your students’ projects.
Serve as a virtual facilitator of a live judging circle when judges share their questions and feedback with student finalists.

Student Winner Showcase & Awards Ceremony
Attend in-person to see the student winners from across the state.
Participate in the event’s educational workshops for students and teachers.