Skip to content
National Innovator Challenge


Welcome to the National Innovator Challenge (NIC).  The N.I.C. celebrates the innovative accomplishments of K-12 students across the United States.

Registration Deadline: this challenge closed June 7, 2022

Top innovators from the National Innovators Challenge have the opportunity to advance to the Global Innovation Challenge held November 5 and 12, 2022.

To qualify for the National Innovator Challenge, students must have an original Idea, App or Prototype, currently be in grade K-12 (or equivalent) and if a team, at least one member of the team must currently reside in the United States.

NIC Flyer 2022 (1080 × 1080 px)
The National Innovator Challenge (NIC) is an annual, K-12, innovation competition that promotes and celebrates youth innovation in the United States. 
  • Registration is Opens: March 1, 2022
  • Registration Closes: May 31, 2022
  • Submissions are accepted in the following categories: Idea, App and Prototype. This is how Innovation World defines each category:
    • Idea – The innovation is a detailed designed of a future App, Prototype, Program or Organization, created with words, pictures, calculations, plans on paper or electronically. There may be a physical display model, but the model has no functionality. Examples:
      • Design of a device to feed the dog.
      • Design of a program to distribute unused food.
    • App – The innovation consisting of an application or software program strictly on a circuit board, computer, tablet, phone or other electronic device, that does not extend beyond the device. Examples:
      • Software program to operate the device to feed the dog.
      • Software to keep track of the quality, quantity and location of unused food.
    • Prototype – The innovation is a tangible, physical item that has been constructed and has some, if not all, of the functions and capabilities that it might need to be actually used in the real world. It may not be made of the correct materials, it may not be the correct size and it may certainly not work as well as it should, but it does have or, at least, had the ability to perform at least some of the functions it is intended to do. Examples:
      • “Working” model of device to feed the dog.
      • Device to transport food to the people who need it.
  • Two Tier Challenge: Every submission will be evaluated by a panel of trained judges. Top innovators will advance to Round 2 and will be invited to a live event via Zoom where students will present their projects to judges and their peer competitors. Top innovators at the NIC live event will receive an invitation to participate in the Global Innovator Challenge, November 5 and 12, 2022.
  • Invitations for those advancing to the National Innovation Challenge Live Event: Invites will go out in early June 2022 and online judge circles will be schedule throughout June 12th through 25th, 2022.
  • Celebration & Recognition Ceremony – Saturday, July 2, beginning at 6PM EST. Follow us @U2CanInnovate!