One Thousand Days Transformed - The Campaign for Cedarville
IID students working on foam and clay car model

Investing in the Next Generation of Inventors

by Tessa Landrum, Student Public Relations Writer

Invention Convention student being coached virtuallyCedarville University’s industrial and innovative design (IID) students at the Columbus-based International Center for Creativity (ICC) are giving back to the design community by serving as judges and mentors in the Ohio Invention Convention. The first round of virtual judging for the regional portion of the competition runs from May 2 through May 23; the second round of judging for entries that proceed to state runs from June 7 through June 23.

“The Invention Convention is a year-round program that provides students in grades K through 12 with an interactive and interdisciplinary opportunity to use the invention process to create and pitch an original product,” said Robin Hilsmeier, executive director of the Ohio Invention League.

Invention Convention studentThe Invention Convention curriculum, which guides students through the design cycle throughout the school year, aligns with Ohio Common Core, Next Generation Science and STEM education standards. The program trains students to develop 21st century job skills like critical thinking, creative problem-solving and entrepreneurial skills. Last year, more than 5,000 students from 73 school districts statewide participated.

As tomorrow’s industrial designers and innovative entrepreneurs, IID majors are stepping up as judges and mentors for this year’s virtual competition season. They will pour into young inventors using what they have learned during their time on both the Cedarville and ICC campuses.

Hilsmeier believes that Invention Convention participants can learn from the experience and education of IID majors, who are just several years ahead of where they are right now.

“Our kids benefit from the ICC students because they see where this program can take them. It broadens their world,” said Hilsmeier.

ICC students hope that their involvement is an encouragement to aspiring inventors.

“I hope that I am able to give some of the kids good feedback and inspire them to do great things,” said Lia Branch, a junior from Pickerington, Ohio. “We need more people like them in the world — those who are not afraid of taking chances and those who want to help impact others.”

Though IID students are giving back to the design community through serving, anyone passionate about innovation and the next generation can sign up as a judge. Training is free and flexible, and volunteers are only required to commit to a two-hour minimum of virtual judging. Regional competition judging will occur May 2 through May 23, and state competition judging will occur June 2 through June 21. Register to judge by April 30 here.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,550 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including its Bachelor of Arts in Industrial and Innovative Design program, strong graduation, and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit


About the International Center for Creativity

The International Center for Creativity is a recognized global leader in innovation education. A working think tank and 3D design firm that provides creative services to universities, design firms, working professionals, entrepreneurs, and corporations of all sizes the International Center for Creativity is a recognized global leader in innovation education for all learners.

In addition to being an Innovation Firm at large the ICC trains tomorrow’s creative problem solvers through the development and deployment of our own unique, market-relevant, and innovative curriculum that ensures that the impact our students make is also a positive, character-driven one. The ICC offers higher education training in Industrial Design, Design Thinking, Entrepreneurship, Business, and Innovation courses. The ICC’s Industrial and Innovative Design Bachelor’s is offered through an exclusive partnership with Cedarville University and is ranked 5th in the country.

Share This Article

Interested in Cedarville?

Request Information

Are You Looking for an Expert?

Cedarville University is known throughout the country for its faculty experts who speak into national and international topics. You can find the expert you are seeking by searching our "Media Experts Guide" for detailed profiles and contact information.

Media Experts Guide »