ChiTAGThe Young Inventor Challenge is a youth contest for aspiring toy and game inventors. Working kind of like a science fair, the main event takes place at the Chicago Toy & Game Fair, Saturday and Sunday, November 23rd and 24th. The deadline for registration, though, is this coming Monday, November 4th.

All entries must include a working prototype toy or game, as well as a poster display that demonstrates how the product works, describes the invention process that produced the toy or game, and presents a marketing message for persuading people to purchase the invention.

Winners will be chosen by both expert judges and popular vote, with prizes including travel to New York Toy Fair, dinners with toy industry experts, copyright and trademark services from an industry attorney, feature articles in Inventor’s Digest, and distribution to retail outlets (should the winners’ products be manufactured).

But more than that, participation provides youth the opportunity to discuss their ideas, receive critique, and learn about the toy and game business from the many professional inventors, industry representatives, and press who visit the displays. Explains Mary Couzin, founder of the Chicago Toy & Game Fair:

Through The Young Inventor Challenge, we’re helping kids connect with the toy and game industry on an even more personal level, giving them behind-the-scenes exposure to the creative and critical thinking process that goes into toy and game development.

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