We are thrilled that you want to invent! The Young Inventors’ Program is all about YOU, the inventor. We collect materials, presentations, and tips to help you succeed at bringing your ideas into working inventions — even if there are a few stumbles along the way.
How Do You Want to Invent?
The Young Inventors' Program offers several options for how and what students invent. You may wish to design and build your own original invention to solve a problem of your own choosing, or you may take a different route to design a unique and complex contraption to perform a simple task by making a Rube Goldberg Machine. YIP provides plans, hands-on activities, and resources to guide you on either journey to help fuel the spark of innovation no matter how you decide to invent.
Design Your Own Original Invention:
YIP's flagship unit will introduce you to each step of the invention design process as you explore the STEM concepts essential to invention. Following along with the activities will guide you to create your very own original invention to solve a problem of your choosing.
Design Your Own Rube Goldberg Machine:
The all new Rube Goldberg Machine unit provides an alternative approach to inventing and will guide you to create your own multi-step contraption. With guidance from Rube Goldberg Machine experts at Zach's Contraptions, you will explore simple machines and turn them in to chain reactions. You will design a device that is deliberately over-engineered to perform a simple task in a complicated fashion.
Students who create Rube Goldberg Machines are eligible to compete in the Northern New England Invention Convention and may be entered into the National Rube Goldberg Machine Contest.
The YIP Inventor’s Journal provides space for you to journal, brainstorm, and document your invention journey. All students competing in the Northern New England Invention Convention and Invention Convention U.S. Nationals or National Rube Goldberg Machine Contest are required to present an invention journal or notebook that documents their process.
You may request a printed journal on our Inventor Sign-Up page.
Original Invention Resources
You may choose to use the following activity plans to help guide you through your invention journey.
- Lesson 5: Research: Student Guide
- Lesson 5: Research: Lesson Slides
- Lesson 7: Design, Build, Test Cycle: Student Guide
- Lesson 7: Design, Build, Test Cycle: Slides
- Worksheet: no worksheets for this lesson, rather use your Inventor’s Journal to document your design, build, test cycle
Rube Goldberg Machine Resources
If you choose to design a Rube Goldberg Machine, these resources provided by the experts at Zach's Contraptions may be useful, and fun. Check out the guide below for information and video links to support your invention journey.
YIP RGM My Rube Goldberg Machine Design Plan Worksheet (included in YIP RGM Inventor's Journal)
YIP RGM Simple Machine Scavenger Hunt Worksheet (NOT included in YIP RGM Inventor's Journal)
YIP RGM Changes to My Rube Goldberg Machine Worksheet (included in YIP RGM Inventor's Journal)
YIP RGM Testing Feedback Grid Worksheet (included in YIP RGM Inventor's Journal)
More Resources for Inventors
The YIP staff will continually add items to this page to help you with developing your invention, presenting your project, competing, and learning what other inventors are doing.
You can also contact us to subscribe to our newsletter, The Inventor, and receive updates about upcoming webinars, events, and programs. Please ask your parent or guardian for permission to subscribe.