Invention Convention U.S. Nationals

Frequently Asked Questions

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When does registration open and close?

Registration opens April 2, 2024, and closes May 9, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. EST.

What if I can’t finish my registration at one time or need to make changes?

All registrations must be completed (with payment) by 11:59 p.m. EST on May 9, 2024. However, after you begin your registration, you can come back and work on it at any time until the closing date. The registration platform will allow changes until the deadline. Changes may include, but are not limited to, uploading a new video or registering another attendee.

What if I forget my password?

Go to, click on the login button and then click the “Forgot password/username” button. Enter the name and email address you registered with, and you’ll receive an email with instructions on how to reset your password.

How do I know when my registration is complete?

You will receive an email from our registration system upon completion of your registration.

What is included in my student registration?

All finalists will receive:

  • Official RTX Invention Convention U.S. Nationals 2024 T-shirt.
  • Certificate of participation.
  • Fun swag bag with goodies.
  • Access to the Awards Ceremony on Friday, June 7.
  • All meals during the event.
  • Transportation to and from The Henry Ford and local event hotels during the event.
  • Annual Family Membership with Rides to The Henry Ford. Membership allows unlimited visits for inventors and their families for one calendar year.

What sizes do the U.S. Nationals T-shirts come in?

Inventor T-shirts are available in youth and select adult sizes. The full list is available through your online registration form.

Team Registration

Can we participate as a team?

Yes, a team consisting of up to four students can participate in the competition. Teams are judged against other teams and individual inventors, using the grade of the oldest team member. A student may compete as an individual or as part of a team but not as both.

How does a team register?

All team members will register independently and will be linked to other team members and the invention with a code. The first person from a team to register will receive this code once they have indicated they are part of a team. That team member should then pass on the code to the other team members to use when they register. Team members will all have access to modify the information about their project.

What if a whole team is unable to attend the in-person competition at The Henry Ford?

A team can compete without all of its members present; however, only the team members present at The Henry Ford for the in-person event will be judged and, if awarded a prize, receive the prizes. Team members who do not attend the in-person event at The Henry Ford will not be eligible for any awards or prizes. Those who are not able to attend the in-person event at The Henry Ford may not defer the invitation to a future competition.

Uploading Required Materials to the U.S. Nationals Registration System

Do I have to submit a picture of my display board to compete?

No, you do not need to submit a picture of your display board in the registration system, but you do need to bring a physical display board to U.S. Nationals.

Do I have to submit my logbook/journal to compete at U.S. Nationals?

Yes. Logbooks should be uploaded with your registration. There is also a specialty award given to the best logbook. Please click here to reference the Rubric and Supporting Materials for logbook upload instructions at the Nationals website. Please note that logbooks also need to be brought to the museum to be judged.

Payment During Registration

What does the RTX Invention Convention U.S. Nationals competition cost?

$350 per inventor; $375 per guest (parent, sibling, guest, other); children 4 and under are free.

How do I pay for registration?

At the end of the registration form, payment may be made via credit or debit card. Note: All payments must be made by May 9, 2024.

What if a third party (school or sponsor) is paying for my student to attend?

We will offer coupon codes during registration, and there will be a place where you can specify that a third party will pay for the participant.

Travel and Lodging

Can an inventor travel alone to the competition?

Each inventor is required to have a registered parent, guardian or chaperone.

Is there a way to get a discount on airfare for the event?

Yes, please refer to the event invitation to find information regarding discounts from Delta Air Lines.

Is there a cost for parking if a family drives to The Henry Ford?

There is no charge to families who park in the parking lots of Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation or Greenfield Village. Tickets or validation are not required. 

How do I reserve a hotel room?

Please use links in the event invitation to review accommodations for each hotel. Please only use the links in the event invitation to reserve your room. The discounted rate cannot be reserved using a third-party provider (e.g.,

What is offered at each hotel?

Please use links in the event invitation to review amenities for each hotel.

Can we stay at a different hotel?

You may stay at a different hotel, but transportation to and from The Henry Ford will only be provided from the official event hotels. Staying at our official event hotels provides our inventors with more opportunities to meet and interact with each other. 

How early in the week can we arrive?

You may arrive as early in the week as you like. Note: Discounted rooms begin as early as Tuesday, June 4, and end Friday, June 7. Free breakfast at the hotels starts Wednesday, June 5.

What is the best way to transport my invention/display board to The Henry Ford?

Transporting inventions and display boards via bus, train or car should not be a problem. If you are flying, check with your airline carrier in advance on the best way to pack your materials 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: TSA What I Can Bring.

How will I get to The Henry Ford from my hotel?

We will provide shuttles from the event hotels to The Henry Ford and back every day. If you are not staying in one of the event hotels, you will need to find other transportation to The Henry Ford (Uber, Lyft, taxi) at your expense.

If I am leaving right after the Award Ceremony on Friday, June 9, where can I store my luggage?

We have arranged luggage storage at the event hotels for those who want to leave after the Award Ceremony. If you are planning to leave Friday evening, you can check out of your hotel that morning and store your luggage at the hotel. Once the ceremony is over, the event buses will take you back to the hotel where you can retrieve your belongings.

The Nationals Event: What to Expect

How can one compete at the event?

Students in grades K-12 who have qualified via a state affiliate program and our independent inventor program are sent invitations to compete at Nationals.

What should I bring to the event to make it successful?

All inventors need to have (for their judging circle):

· Logbook

· Display board

· Prototype (if needed)

· And a smile!

What time do I need to arrive on Wednesday?

Registration and invention setup begin at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 5, and the museum closes at 5 p.m. Participants arriving by 4 p.m. will still have time for appropriate check-in and setup.

What is a parent, guardian or chaperone’s role at Nationals?

Each student under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult parent, guardian or chaperone during the entire U.S. Nationals event. Additional adults may register to attend along with their inventors.

Is orientation mandatory?

No, orientation on the first day is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended if you have never been to Nationals before.

Can teachers/educators attend the event?

Teachers and educators are welcome to attend to support their inventors. Each must register as an attendee.

Where can I find a schedule of events?

You will be emailed a schedule; it also will be posted on our website and will be available on our event app.

Where are the meals?

Breakfast will be served at the hotel. Please see event information for lunch and dinner options, service locations and times.

Will registration be open on Thursday?

Yes, registration will be open on Thursday; however, we recommend that inventors arrive on Wednesday if possible since judging begins on Thursday and there would not be a lot of time for inventors to set up their inventions.

What is there to do at The Henry Ford?

LOTS! Visit to see all the great things the museum and your new family membership have to offer.

What should I wear for the event?

Comfortable clothes and shoes. On Friday, please wear your official RTX Invention Convention U.S. Nationals T-shirt.

Judging and Presentation Components

What should I wear for the video presentation?

Inventors may wear what they would like for their presentation. Remember, you are representing your invention and all of your hard work, and you will want to be taken seriously. Think about what that means to you, and do your best to look nice.

What if our team can’t all be together to film our presentation video?

While it is best to have all team members in the video presentation, one team member may film the presentation video on behalf of the entire team. This team member should mention each team member's name at the start of the video. During registration, the first team member to upload the team’s video will also upload it for everyone on the team. Team members do not need to upload the video individually. 

Will I be judged online and in person?

Yes, inventions are judged by a group of online judges prior to the in-person event and also in the judging circles at The Henry Ford.

When will each inventor be judged?

All inventors will have a predetermined time for their judging circle. They will be given this time when they check in on the first day of the event.

Are parents allowed to be present for judging?

Parents are allowed to be present; however, we ask that they do not interfere with their inventor’s presentation or Q&A time with the judges.

I took part in Invention Convention U.S. Nationals last year; can I improve my invention and resubmit it?

Yes, we encourage students to learn from the experience and judges’ feedback and improve on their invention. If you show significant improvement and your invention is deemed worthy by a local competition, the invention will be welcomed again at Nationals.

I do not have a prototype; can I still compete?

Yes, if you are unable to create a prototype, you can still compete; however, you will need to have a picture, drawing or some type of blueprint to show and share during your presentation that describes your invention in detail.

How much space do we have to display our inventions?

All materials must fit within a space no larger than 30" wide, 66" tall (30" below table and 36" above table), and 42" deep (30" on table, 12" in front of table). Please see example picture here.

Will I have access to power/electricity?

The Henry Ford cannot offer power for any inventions during the event.

Will I have access to water?

No, water cannot be used in the museum.

Will I have access to refrigeration if needed?

No, Michigan health and safety laws do not allow participants to use refrigeration storage at the museum.

When can I set up and break down my invention?

Inventions can be set up on Wednesday, the first day of the event, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. All inventions can be broken down after the Awards Ceremony on Friday.

Do I need to take my invention when I leave each night?

No. All inventions will be secured in the museum every night.

Can I use a laptop or tablet to demonstrate my prototype?

Inventors may use a laptop or tablet to demonstrate a digital prototype. Note: Power will not be provided for these devices nor is it the responsibility or The Henry Ford to ensure functioning WiFi

Can I use video as part of my Live Presentation with Q&A?

No, use of video during the Live Presentation with Q&A is not allowed.

Can I use the front and back of display boards?

Inventors are welcome to decorate both sides of their display board, but must present from only one side. Moving or turning the display board qualifies as a safety hazard: there is a danger of knocking over other display boards, prototypes, people, and museum artifacts.

The Awards Ceremony

When does the Awards Ceremony take place?

The RTX Invention Convention U.S. Nationals Awards Ceremony will be Friday afternoon at Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation.

Who can attend the Awards Ceremony?

All registered attendees are invited to this private event.

Do we need to stay for the Awards Ceremony?

The Awards Ceremony is the culmination of everything inventors have gone through to get to Invention Convention U.S. Nationals, and it is a great way to celebrate their accomplishments at the end of the experience. However, an inventor does not have to be present to accept an award.

Can we bring our luggage to the Awards Ceremony?

It is preferred to store luggage at the hotel. If this is not an option, there will be limited space at The Henry Ford to store luggage. Please check with U.S. Nationals staff for details. 

Educators and Other Attendee Registration

How do I attend Invention Convention U.S. Nationals as an educator or chaperone?

Anyone beyond an inventor’s family who would like to participate in Invention Convention U.S. Nationals can register to attend. You could be an educator, adviser or school administrator that has students who are competing or a non-family member chaperone who is overseeing a team of students.

Register here and complete the registration form and pay the registration cost of $375.


What does the registration cost cover?

The registration cost covers:
· Lunch on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
· Dinner on Wednesday and Thursday
· Access to the Awards Ceremony on Friday, June 7

As an attendee, where would I stay for the duration of the event?

We have event hotels available for attendees to reserve a room. Event hotels have the advantage of transportation every day to and from The Henry Ford. If you would like to stay at one of these hotels; the information on how to reserve a room will be sent to you once your registration is complete and the registration cost is paid. You are not obligated to stay at these hotels for the event and are welcome to find other accommodations near The Henry Ford.

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