NICEE 2017 FAQ
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NICEE – General
Q: What does the national event cost?
A: The fee is $175 for all participants. Registration includes all event meals, an IMAX movie ticket for the Air & Space Museum, and one round trip Metro ticket per registered person for travel to the Smithsonian Museums on the National Mall. It does not include any travel or transportation expenses to and from Washington D. C.; these are the responsibility of the affiliate sending the student. Note: Registration fees are not tax deductible.
Q: Is there someone picking them up from the airport?
A: No, the venue is located two subway stops down from Reagan airport, and it’s just as easy to hop the subway to the King Street metro station. The main conference hotels are all right there.
NICEE – Students
Q: Will the national event be just like my home state event?
A: Maybe. It depends on your home event. Read the rules page for details about how the event will take place and be judged. Many states do not require students to “pitch” their product — you do at Nationals. Log books are important too at Nationals. What’s likely to be different is that the Nationals will use “judging circles” which are different than one-on-one judge interviews that you might be used to. In judging circles, you will speak to and be asked questions by your peers — other student inventors. Be prepared to be inquisitive and curious about your fellow inventors’ inventions. Students are not judged on participation, however.
Q: Can K-2 kids come to D.C.?
A: K-2 students will compete exclusively via the online portal with judging performed in advance of the event. Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony in Washington D.C. and plaques will be mailed to the students following the event.
Q: Can we do teams?
A: Yes. Teams of up to 4 students can participate and they are judged against other teams or individuals. All members of a team do not need to attend or travel to the event, but all team members at NICEE must present the project in the judging circles.
Q: How much space do I/we have to display our invention.
A: Each invention will have only 2 feet of display space. Your Prototype must fit within this space. No over-sized displays will be allowed in the judging circle. Please refer to the Competition Rules Page for additional size information.
Q: What if my prototype exceeds the display space:
A: Over-sized prototypes can be represented in picture portfolios or videos shown to judges. National does not provide laptops or other means for presenting electronic media. You will need to provide your own battery operated equipment.
Q: What is the best way to transport my invention to NICEE?
A: Transporting inventions via bus or car should not be a problem. You will need to check with your airline carrier in advance on the best way to pack your invention for a flight. If it is impossible for a student to bring their invention on their flight, the NICEE hotels will accept shipments. Their storage space is limited so shipments should be sent to arrive on Tuesday, May 30 or Wednesday, May 31. The box should be labeled with the student’s name, his/her arrival date, NICEE 2017 and to the attention of the events manager.
STUDENTS WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL SHIPPING EXPENSES — BOTH TO AND FROM D.C. Students are responsible for making sure that, if they want to return ship the invention back home, the shipping box and materials are retained for return shipment.
YOU SHOULD PRINT OUT A RETURN LABEL AT HOME BEFORE COMING TO D.C. No shipping materials will be available on-site in D.C. Shipping is via UPS or FedEx only.
Q: What is a logbook?
A: While most state Invention Conventions require a logbook, they are not part of the teaching curriculum in a few states. To students in these states, this will be new.
A logbook is a journal that the student keeps from the very beginning that helps the student structure their invention thinking/process, and also helps to document their path to invention (important for patent filings). In programs that use the logbooks, students will start their very earliest conceptual thinking in a logbook, and chronicle this as it iterates to a completed project.
Now of course, this begs the question, what do you do if you are just finding out about the log book now – since unlike in Harry Potter, we cannot turn back time (no Time-Turner!). So we would like the student to fill out a logbook anyway, thinking about what s/he learned in the process along the way. Next year, we believe all programs in the U.S. will be using a logbook as part of their program due to this national requirement. Your child will not be disadvantaged in the judging because of this.
For guidance, if your state does not have a logbook program element, check out this link from the Connecticut Invention Convention.
Q: Can I use a script to talk?
A: The bulk of the judging relative to your invention is based around what it is, why you made it, how it works, and so one. A small portion is on the superficial quality of your pitch. If you feel more comfortable reading from a script, then by all means do so. You won’t win Best Pitch likely, but only one student in all the presentations gets that. It’s more important to succinctly get your point across. If you feel comfortable speaking from index cards in the in-person competition, that’s OK too. Over time, we hope you’ll get more comfortable speaking without these prompts, but we all started there and understand!
Q: What should I wear to NICEE?
A: Neat school dress attire is encouraged – if they won’t let you wear it to school, you should not wear it to NICEE. Students will all be issued a T-shirt to wear on Friday and Saturday. Students should order a larger size to accommodate wearing it over their clothes. Students are expected to wear the shirts at all times on Friday and Saturday to help ease identification and movement of our large groups.
Q: Are student inventor T-shirts youth or adult sized?
A: Student Inventor T-shirts will be available in youth and some select adult sizes. The full list will be in the registration form.
NICEE – Teachers/Chaperons
Q: Will directors of programs be required to register since we are not personally entering a project as the students will be?
A: Yes. Everyone who is planning to participate in NICEE activities needs to register including chaperons and parents.
Q: How many chaperons are allocated per student?
A: This is an affiliate decision. Typically the allocation is one adult for eight students, with a minimum of one chaperon for each sex of attendees. All students must have adult supervision, either a designated chaperon or their parent/guardian.
Q: What will be the role of the teachers/chaperons at the event?
A: Teachers/Chaperons will be wholly responsible for their students traveling without a parent from their departure in their home state until they return home. During the Saturday morning judging circles, a workshop for teachers/chaperons will take place and be open to all registered attendees.
Q: Our flight is getting in really late on Thursday, will there be registration on Friday? If not, how do we get our registration package.
A: Anyone not checking in on Thursday PM will have a package waiting for them at their hotel front desk on Friday morning.
NICEE – Parents
Q: Can we attend the event with our child?
A: Yes. One parent may register per student. During parent registration, additional family members can request being added to a wait list. Wait list registration will open at 12pm ET/9am PT on May 3, 2017 and is on a first come first served basis.
Q: What activities can non-registered family members participate in?
A: Student inventions will be on display Saturday, June 3 from Noon until 1:30 p.m. and open to the General Public and non-registered family members. Additionally, non-registered family members can visit the National Inventors Hall of Fame – on the Upper Atrium free of charge.
NICEE – Judges
Q: Where do I park for judging?
A: The gates to the East Garage at the USPTO will be up. East Garage is located at 551 John Carlyle Street, Alexandria, VA.
NICEE – Sponsors
Q: What is your non-profit number so we can get a tax benefit?
Q: Can we judge our sponsored awards in advance?
A: Yes, all students will be submitting basic information and video pitches in advance of Nationals for pre-judging before the event.
Q: Can we give items away to the students?
A: Yes, each student will receive a “goodie bag” into which you may arrange in advance to place