Chicago Toy & Game Fair Presents 2011 Young Inventor Challenge

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Contest Sparks Kids’ Creativity at America’s Only Public Toy & Game Fair

The Young Inventor Challenge was an opportunity of a lifetime for a kid like me. The competition allowed me to create an original game, develop it and show it off to top toy companies.
- Nick Metzler, age 16
2010 YIC Winner for "That's Cheating"

Calling all kid inventors! The Chicago Toy & Game Fair (ChiTAG) encourages kids to unleash their inner Einstein with its fifth annual Young Inventor Challenge, an original toy and game inventing competition held during the Fair on November 19, 2011 at Chicago’s Navy Pier.

Kids ages 6-18 are invited to participate in this fun and exciting event that brings together imagination, play and inventive thinking with grand prizes awarded in two age categories by popular vote of Fair attendees, who will cast their votes for their favorite invention based on originality, creativity, appeal and presentation.

With professional toy and game inventors and industry representatives on hand to provide advice, critique, guidance and encouragement, ChiTAG’s Young Inventor Challenge also provides participants with the means of taking their inventions to greater heights and the opportunity to show their inventions to the public, toy industry, and members of the press.

"The Young Inventor Challenge helps kids develop so many skills that can serve them well through life such as creativity, critical thinking and perseverance," says Mary Couzin, Founder of the Chicago Toy & Game Fair. "They'll learn how inventors work - from concept to development of a prototype to testing and research."

Budding inventors can get started by downloading the Young Inventor Challenge Workbook, which includes step-by-step guidelines on how to take part in the challenge, plus kid-friendly instructions on how to brainstorm and record ideas, design and develop prototypes, and how to prepare for their presentation at ChiTAG's Young Inventor Challenge event.

Nick Metzler, age 16 from Algonquin, IL was the winner in 2010’s Senior Category for his game, That’s Cheating! “The Young Inventor Challenge was an opportunity of a lifetime for a kid like me, because the competition allowed me to create an original game, develop it, and show it off to top executives and companies. Victory and the prizes that came along with winning were overwhelming and full of valuable information and experience.”

Educators are also invited to take part in the Young Inventor Challenge by incorporating toy and game inventor workshops in their classroom as a class project, school-wide competition or after-school program, using the Young Inventor Challenge Workbook as a guide to help kids imagine, design, test, and create their own original toy or game inventions. Once complete, students are invited to present their original playthings at the event.

"The Young Inventor Challenge is an excellent enrichment opportunity,” says Karen Luciana, 5th grade teacher at Lincolnwood Elementary School. “Designing requires a combination of skills. Children must brainstorm, write, revise, edit, use critical and strategic thinking, and incorporate artistic skills. The result is a product that impresses, inspires and humbles teachers, parents and executives in the toy and game industry."

Registration is free on the Chicago Toy & Game Fair's Young Inventor Challenge website and must be submitted online or by mail before October 31, 2011. All entries require a prototype of toy or game invention and poster display to be presented at the Chicago Toy & Game Fair on Saturday, November 19, 2011.

Chicago Toy & Game Fair hours are 10am to 6pm on Saturday, November 19, and 10am to 5pm on Sunday, November 20, 2011. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children. Children under the age of three, scouts in uniform, teachers and librarians are admitted free of charge. For more details, please visit http://www.chitag.com.

For more information, please contact Mary Kay Russell at mrussell@chitag.com.

About the Chicago Toy & Game Fair (ChiTAG)
Founded in 2003, the Chicago Toy & Game Fair is the only non-hobby consumer toy and game fair in the U.S. Held annually on the weekend before Thanksgiving at Chicago’s historic Navy Pier, ChiTAG brings together consumers, toy and game inventors, toy industry trade and members of the media to celebrate the creation of toys and games and their inventors. Its mission is to build community through play by providing opportunities for people of all ages to connect with one another and experience the joy and educational value of traditional play.

About the Chicago Toy & Game Group
The Chicago Toy & Game Group, Inc. is a family of toy industry initiatives designed to encourage and promote the power of play and invention in social, educational, and professional environments. The Chicago Toy & Game Group consists of the Chicago Toy & Game Fair (ChiTAG), Toy & Game Inventor and Industry Conference (T&GCon), Toy & Game Inventor Awards (TAGIE Awards), Games for Educators, and Discover Games. .

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