CONTACT: STEPHEN PRADARELLI
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0007; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: June 26, 2002
Invent Iowa receives $100,000 U.S. Education Department grant
Invent Iowa, a program of the University of Iowa's Connie Belin & Jacqueline
N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development
that encourages Iowa students to design and create inventions, has netted
a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
The grant was secured by U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who chairs a U.S.
Senate subcommittee that funds education initiatives through the No Child
Left Behind Act of 2001. Harkin helped start Invent Iowa in 1986.
"The inventors of tomorrow are in our classrooms today. The vision
of Invent Iowa is to spark the inventive spirit of Iowa's children and give
them the confidence to keep inventing. This grant provides tremendous support
for that vision," said Clar M. Baldus, Ph.D., state coordinator of Invent
The federal funds will be used to encourage children in kindergarten through
12th grade to create inventions and hold fairs at the school level. Last year,
more than 30,000 Iowa students participated in the program.
Invent Iowa participants are expected to develop inventions that generally
meet the requirements for a patent in the United States. In other words, they
must be "new, useful and non-obvious." To make the experience more
meaningful, students are encouraged to keep journals chronicling their inventions
from concept to completion.
Inventions selected at the regional competitions are displayed each year
at the Invent Iowa state convention. The state convention, organized by the
Belin-Blank Center, is hosted by the Colleges of Engineering and is held at
the UI and Iowa State University alternating years. For more information about
Invent Iowa, follow the links at http://www.uiowa.edu/~belinctr/