I Cubed, which is also known as I3 , stands for Inspire! Ignite! Invent! The I Cubed program is a nationwide student invention curriculum and competition for students in grades 1-8, which is available to public, private, charter, and home schools nationwide. Teachers and students alike will grow in their ability to creatively solve real-world problems, as they participate in the lessons and activities provided.
As the first step in the invention process, students are taught to become “problem finders”. After brainstorming numerous solutions to the real-world problem they have identified, the young inventors design and build a prototype model of their invention idea. An eye-catching display is created to market their invention, and an inventor’s journal documents their ideas and the invention process. In addition, students conduct research to confirm that their idea does not already exist. Rules include staying under $25 for newly-purchased materials to encourage resourcefulness, as well as to provide a level playing field, economically.
Numerous 21st Century skills are addressed including: critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, innovation, and information and technology literacy. Students enter their invention projects in one of five categories, first at the school level, with school winners then progressing to a district competition. The top inventions from the school district event then move on to the Regional competition, which encompasses numerous districts from approximately one-third of the state. The culminating event, the State Finals, brings all of the top Regional winners in their grade divisions and categories together in a celebration of creativity to recognize our young inventors for their innovations and original inventions. This portion of I3 includes actual events held at a location in your area for which state coordinators will receive specialized training and information about how to establish a phenomenal invention celebration.
The I Cubed Challenge is a special, optional, on-line strand within the five basic categories. Each year the theme changes; for example, one year the theme may be “medical” inventions, and the next year the theme may be “sustainability” for planet-awareness inventions. Students may still enter ANY invention in ANY category; they do NOT have to follow the annual theme. However, if they do have an invention, which follows the I Cubed Challenge theme for that year, the student may choose to ALSO enter the on-line portion of the I Cubed program. Young inventors will simply have their teacher or parent register for the NATIONAL I Cubed Challenge by clicking the tab on the menu bar. Be sure to check the NEWS tab often for information about the new annual theme and deadlines for this special I Cubed Challenge. The Grand Champion will be selected from entries submitted nationwide. What an honor to be named the best young inventor in the USA!