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Astounding Inventions

Press Release

Irvine Valley College to host
31st Annual Astounding Inventions® Competition

Saturday, January 27, 2018


Astounding Inventions® is a fair highlighting handmade inventions by students from kindergarten through eighth grade from the Irvine and Tustin Unified School Districts. The competition was established to spark student interest and learning in science, technology, engineering, math, and CREATIVITY!

My child has an invention. How can they participate? Please contact your school district to find out more information about submitting inventions:


More than 450 students present inventions they conceived and crafted on their own. The students compete for $10,000 in cash prizes, certificates of achievement and ribbons from the Irvine Valley College Foundation. The inventions, grouped by grade level, are judged on their originality, usefulness, and a written description and illustration. Over 60 judges representing the scientific, educational, civic and business communities determine the winners at the event. In addition, as part of its title sponsorship, Knobbe Martens selects two inventions — one from Irvine Unified School District and one from Tustin Unified School District — based on the perceived patentability, and conducts a pro bono prior art search and writes a provisional patent application.

"Knobbe Martens is proud to support the Astounding Inventions® competition in developing a passion for science and innovation in young students," says Knobbe Martens partner Lance Smemoe.


  • 9:15am – 10:45am: Judging of student inventions
  • 10am – 1pm: Inspiration Village Center featuring demonstrations and exhibits
  • 11am – Noon: Public viewing of student inventions
  • Noon: Awards Ceremony: Grade K, 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8
  • 1:15 pm: Awards Ceremony: Grades 4 and 5


During the fall of 2016, nearly 4,000 students representing 40 schools in the Irvine and Tustin Unified School Districts submit their inventions for judging at their schools. Approximately 450 projects are selected to compete in the 2017 Astounding Inventions® Competition. Past inventions have run from the whimsical to the remarkable and have included dozens of clever pet grooming devices, remote control gizmos, and relief from everyday challenges of children and their parents. The event was conceived by Irvine Valley College in 1987 to promote creativity and interest in STEM education in our community. Award winners may go on to compete at different levels of state and national math and science invention competitions.

For sponsorship involvement, please call the Irvine Valley College Foundation at 949-451-5290

Foundation Staff

Elissa Oransky

Executive Director

Karen Orlando

Interim Director of Annual Giving

Karen Martin

Development Associate


T : 949-451-5290
O: B 200 Building, Room 251