Have a question about The STEMIE Coalition’s 2018 K-12 National Invention Convention and Entrepreneurship Expo (NICEE) presented by United Technologies Corporation at The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation? Send us an email

NICEE – General

Q: What should I wear to NICEE?

A:  All competitors are expected to wear the same shirts for the competition. Students will all be issued a T-shirt to wear on Friday. It is very important that all students wear their NICEE T-shirts during judging on Friday. Students are expected to wear the shirts at all times on Friday to help ease identification and movement of our large groups. Students should not plan on wearing any business suit or other clothing on top of the T-shirt.

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 available through the online registration form.

Q: If we are not able to make it on time for registration on May 31st will there be another opportunity to pick up our student’s registration packet?

A: Registration packets will be available at 9:00AM June 1st at the main NICEE Information Table at The Henry Ford Museum.

Q: How can I make arrangements to address my food concerns?

A: We will do our best to accommodate any food concerns if they are listed as part of the registration process. However, there may be issues that we can not fully resolve and we ask your understanding and patience.

Q: How can Family and Friends who were unable to travel to Dearborn watch the Awards Ceremony?

A: The Awards Ceremony will be live streamed beginning at 7:00pm (EST) on June 1.  Address for the live video link address will be available on this page prior to the event and will be provided in advance to inventors and their families.  There is no cost to view the live stream.

Q: What does the national event cost?

A: The fee is $300 for inventors and $350 for all other guests. Registration includes:

  • Participation in the 2018 National Invention Convention and Entrepreneurship Expo
  • Access to the 2018 National Invention Convention & Entrepreneurship Expo Awards Ceremony
  • 4-day pass to The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation™ and Greenfield Village (good Thursday through Sunday)
  • One visit each to Ford Rouge Factory Tour and to the Giant Screen Experience
  • Meals over three days (Thursday Lunch through Saturday Lunch):
    • Thursday Lunch: Fun $ for lunch at the The Henry Ford
    • Thursday Dinner: Welcome Dinner Party Thursday at Edward Hotel & Convention Center
    • Friday Breakfast: Breakfast at the Edward Hotel & Conference Center
    • Friday Lunch: Fun $ for lunch at the The Henry Ford
    • Friday Dinner: Strolling dinner at the Museum with private Museum access
    • Saturday Breakfast: Breakfast at the Edward Hotel & Conference Center
    • Saturday Lunch: Picnic at the Pavilion
    • Meals before Thursday Lunch and after Saturday Lunch are not included in this registration fee but are available throughout the Museum facilities
  • Transportation between The Henry Ford Museum and the Edward Hotel & Convention Center Thursday evening through Saturday evening
  • NICEE Competition T-Shirt
  • Swag (“Stuff We All Get”) Bag
  • Additional details available here.

Note: Registration fees are not tax deductible.

Q: Why does the inventor registration cost less than for all other attendees?

A: Some sponsors have chosen to provide additional funds to underwrite the inventor registration cost.

Q: What is the registration cost for kids 3 and under?

A: There is no registration fee, museum entrance fee or breakfast fee (at the Edward Hotel) for children 3 and under. Make sure to include your 3 and under children attending when you register online so that we can provide the appropriate wristband that will get them in free.

Q: If I have to cancel our registration, will we be eligible for a refund?

A: Cancellations and refunds can be made until registration closes on May 7, 2018. After that, all registrations are committed and not refundable because we have to place non-refundable deposits based on your commitments. Registrations are transferable until May 26, 2018. Contact to request a registration transfer.

Q: Is there someone picking them up from the airport?

A: No, attendees will need to arrange for their own transportation to and from the airport and to The Henry Ford Museum on Thursday morning.  Uber is around $19-$24 each way.  A taxi is around $25.

Hotel Accommodations

Q: Where should we stay in Dearborn?

A: Rooms are being held at the Edward Hotel & Conference Center, located at 600 Town Center Dr , Dearborn, MI 48126. 855-516-1090.  You will need to make your own reservations with the hotel.

Q: Is the cost of the hotel included in our registration fee?

A: No, the cost of the hotel is not included in your registration fee. Please see “What does the national event cost?” above for a complete list of what is included in your registration fee.

Q: How do we reserve our room at the Edward Hotel?

A: To make your reservation:

  • Call 313-592-3622 and ask for the 2018 NICEE Conference.

Q: What is check in/check out time at the Edward Hotel:

A: Check in – 4:00PM | Check out – 11:00AM

Note: If you plan to depart on Saturday after the Picnic at the Pavilion, you should check out of the Edward Hotel before catching the bus to The Henry Ford Museum. The Edward Hotel has a room where you may store your luggage while you are enjoying The Henry Ford Museum and the picnic. Buses will run to and from the Edward Hotel and The Henry Ford Saturday morning and again afternoon from 2:00PM – 5:00PM.

Q: Can we stay at a different hotel?

A: You may stay at a different hotel if you wish. Some great reasons to stay at the Edward Hotel:

  • We hope your young inventor will meet other inventors from across the United States and possibly from across the world.
  • Transportation provided between the Edward Hotel and The Henry Ford Museum (as defined in the next Q/A below) that may not be available from other hotels in the area.
  • The Thursday evening Welcome Party will be held at the Edward Hotel.
  • The STEMIE Coalition has negotiated a discount rate with the Edward Hotel.

Q: How early in the week can we arrive?

A: You may arrive as early in the week as you like.  Note: the discounted rooms begin as early as Wednesday, May 30th and end Sunday, June 3.

Q: How will we get from the Edward Hotel to The Henry Ford Museum?

A: We have arranged for buses that will make the following pick ups/drop offs:

  • Thursday evening from The Henry Ford Museum to the Edward Hotel
  • Friday morning from the Edward Hotel to The Henry Ford Museum
  • Friday night from The Henry Ford Museum to the Edward Hotel
  • Saturday morning from the Edward Hotel to The Henry Ford Museum
  • Saturday afternoon from The Henry Ford Museum to the Edward Hotel

Note: transportation outside of these days/time frames will be the responsibility of the travelers. Uber is around $19-$24 each way.  A taxi is around $25.

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.  Logbooks 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 evaluators and peers  — other student inventors. Be prepared to be inquisitive and curious about your fellow inventors’ inventions. Students are not judged on participation.

Q: What is a logbook?

A:  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. 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. Review our Logbook Policy.  Logbooks or journals must be brought to the competition when invention displays are set up on Friday, June 1. Teams only need to submit one logbook for their project. Logbooks do not need to be uploaded into the registration system.

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 and take part in the on-site pitch.

Q: I took part in NICEE last year, can I improve my invention and resubmit it?

A:  Absolutely, we encourage students to learn from the experience and improve their invention.  That’s the point of the invention process.  Of course, you will have to re-apply to attend, either through your state program (if you have one) or by applying through the Independent Inventor Competition (if you don’t), and if your invention is deemed worthy, an invitation to Nationals will result.

Q: How much space do I/we have to display our invention?

A: STEMIE supports the trifold display board size of 48” wide (24″ with both 12″ sides folded in) and 36” tall, and the trifold is expected to fit onto a footprint of no more than 30” wide (with sides folded in) on the tabletop. Your Prototype must fit within this space on the table as well, or in front of the table provided it does not encroach upon neighboring prototypes. 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. STEMIE does not provide laptops or other means for presenting electronic media. You will need to provide and be responsible for the safety of your own battery-operated equipment for such presentations.

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 you have batteries in your invention, please check the airline regulations about flying with batteries and other regulated materials — you can find information on what you can carry on an airplane here:

If it is impossible for a student to bring their invention on their flight, the Edward Hotel will accept direct shipments. To ship to the hotel make sure your shipping label includes the following:

  1. Edward Hotel
  2. c/o Sara Mitchell
  3. Hold for Arrival- attention guest’s name/STEMIE Coalition
  4. Number of boxes (example 1 of 2 and 2 of 2 etc)
  5. 600 Town Center Drive Dearborn MI 48126


  1. Be sure to include your complete return address
  2. Packages can not arrive more then three days prior to guest arrival.

STUDENTS WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL SHIPPING EXPENSES — BOTH TO AND FROM DEARBORN. 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 Dearborn. No shipping materials will be available on-site in Dearborn. Shipping is via UPS or FedEx only.

Q:  Can I use a script to talk about my invention?

A:  For both video submissions and the on-site competition, the bulk of the judging relative to your invention is based around what it is, why you made it, how it works, and so on.  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 award.  It’s more important to succinctly get your point across.  Over time, we hope you’ll get more comfortable speaking without these prompts, but we all started there and understand!

Q: Can inventors in K-2 kids come to NICEE in Dearborn?

A: K-2 students will compete exclusively via the online portal with judging performed in advance of the event. Top winners from the K-2 competition will be invited to accept their award on stage at NICEE.

NICEE – Parents

Q: Can we attend the event with our child?

A: Yes. We encourage the whole family to participate.  Participants will register and pay for registration through their NICEE 2018 registration form.  The registration link will be available beginning April 6.

Q: What activities can non-registered family members participate in?

A: Attending scheduled events with inventors requires registration.  Non-registered family members may watch the NICEE Awards Ceremony online. The Awards Ceremony will be live streamed beginning at 7:00pm (EST) on June 1.  Address for the live video link address will be available on this page prior to the event and will be provided in advance to inventors and their families.

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 will have a package waiting for them at our information booth at The Henry Ford Museum on Friday morning.

Q: If we drive, can we park at The Henry Ford Museum?

A: Yes, you may park at the Welcome Center free of charge.

NICEE – Teachers/Chaperones

Q: Can a student travel to NICEE alone?

A: All students must have adult accompaniment/supervision, either a designated chaperone or their parent/guardian.

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 and pay the event fee, including chaperones and parents.

Q: How many chaperones are allocated per student?

A: This is an Affiliate decision. Not all Affiliates travel as a delegation and not all have chaperones. Of those that do have a chaperones mode, typically the allocation is one adult for eight students, with a minimum of one chaperones for each gender of attendees.

Q: What will be the role of the teachers/chaperones at the event?

A: Teachers/Chaperones will be wholly responsible for their students traveling without a parent from their departure in their home state until they return home.

NICEE – Judges

Q: Where do I park for judging?

A: Yes, you may park at the Welcome Center free of charge or, if you are staying at the Edward Hotel & Conference Center, feel free to ride one of the buses over to the Museum.

NICEE – Sponsors

Q: What is your non-profit number so we can get a tax benefit?

A: 47-5426484   Note: Registration fees are not tax deductible.

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 receives a “goodie bag” into which you may arrange in advance to place an item.

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