Get Involved!

Volunteer Guide

Want to support Chicago’s future innovators?

Volunteering is a bright idea.

Have you heard of our premiere annual K-8 invention event in the Chicagoland region? It takes a whole community to bring the Chicago Student Invention Convention to life– and we need your help.

There are two ways to get involved: as an Invention Judge or Convention Volunteer. Both help the event to succeed in different ways:

  • Invention Judges are assigned student projects to review and score. Judges ask students clarifying questions and provide encouragement, feedback, and constructive criticism on their inventions
  • Convention Volunteers step up to help with the logistics of the day of.

“I was blown away by the intelligence, curiosity and creativity of children who spent months on their projects to create everything from robot dogs to sauce savers and everything in between. Feel like a superhero to these bright young inventors!”

-Kathleen Brown, buddhi

Getting Started


Invention Judge

Eligible judges must be a STEM, innovation, entrepreneurial or education professional and over the age of 18. You will:

  • Learn about judging criteria at an online training
  • Attend the Chicago Student Invention Convention to review projects
  • Evaluate student inventions using current judging rubric
  • Provide objective feedback for student inventions
  • Engage student inventors with questions or comments about their inventions
  • Consult with judging team to score and rank student inventions
  • Review scores and determine award winning inventions

Convention Volunteer

Eligible convention volunteers must be over the age of 18. Possible Roles include:

  • Registration/Check-In Specialist
  • Problem-Solver/Guest Supporter
  • Food and Beverage Captain
  • Expert People Mover/Directions Point Person
  • Supporter of Imagination Stations (STEM Activity Booths)
  • Invention Scorer/Resident Data Whiz
  • Virtual Event Support/Chat Moderator

Sign Up to Volunteer

Every year, usually around March, the Chicago Student Invention Convention seeks volunteers to help with the convention and serve as Invention Judges.

Attend An Online Training

Learn the virtual judging and scoring system, and find out more about the events of the day so that you can feel confident in your volunteer duties.

Once registered as a judge, details for the online training will be sent to the email address you provided.

Volunteer at the Convention

Convention Day has arrived! Whether you are an invention judge or a convention volunteer, every person donating their time and expertise makes this annual event special.

Imagination Stations

If your innovative STEM-oriented company seeks to serve youth with fun, engaging activities, we invite you to join us at the convention as an Imagination Station!

These STEM activity booths are where student inventors can get hands-on with an interactive exhibit. At our hybrid event, virtual options are also available to engage with the audience watching from home.

Imagination Station activities include:

  • Conduct science and innovation activities with students
  • Interact with students, teachers, parents, and administrators
  • Stamp Imagination Station Passports for students to collect

Past Imagination Stations

Imagination Station Sign-Up