Family Time: Get inventive at this fair

Inventors Fair logo

Make it, then take it to the Post-Bulletin's Inventors Fair.

Open to Rochester students (public, private and homeschool) in grades 4 through 12, individual students or teams of students come up with an idea and build the invention at home, then bring the finished product to the Inventors Fair.

"We are open to any and all inventions," says Randi Kallas, Inventors Fair organizer. "Personally, I'm thinking we'll see a lot of pet-oriented inventions. We all have retractable dog leashes now, and it's because somebody invented them. That, and I'm thinking we'll see a lot of practical household gizmos. But I don't know, it's really whatever the inventors come up with."

On the day of the Inventors Fair, inventions will be critiqued by a panel of judges as well as viewed by the general public. Cash prizes will be awarded in two age brackets (fourth through eighth and ninth through 12th) for both the judges' and the people's choice.

"Students should come prepared to demonstrate how their invention works, explain how they came up with the idea, and talk about who would use the invention," Kallas says. "It's a great opportunity to show off the great idea you've come up with."


Although just in its first year, organizers already have big plans for future fairs.

"I expect this first year to be relatively small. It's just open to Rochester this year, but next year we hope to expand it to the surrounding communities," Kallas says. "What we're hoping for is to provide an opportunity for kids to see the value in coming up with an idea, working with your hands, figuring out that computers can't solve every problem."

Register online through April 11.

What: Inventors Fair

Where: Rochester STEM Academy, 415 16th St., S.W.

When: Saturday, April 23, 9 a.m. to noon

Phone: 285-7639


On the web:

More opportunities to tinker

• Christ Lutheran Church is hosting their second annual LEGO Creation Fair, Sunday, May 15, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., 2904 20th St., S.E. Open to kids in grades K through 6, kids build their own LEGO creation: a favorite movie scene, vehicle, building, landmark, etc. Prizes awarded. In lieu of an entry fee, participants are asked to bring two nonperishable food items for Channel One Regional Food Bank. To register a LEGO creation, go to Call 289-0271 or email with questions.

• Wednesday, April 6 through Sunday, April 10, the Children’s Museum’s Imagination Station will host an Inventor’s Workshop. Kids are encouraged to get creative, building masterpieces using lots of recycled materials and a little imagination. The Inventor’s Workshop is included in price of admission, $5.50 for ages 1 and older. Go online, for museum hours and additional information.

• Camp Invention offers hands-on, science, math, engineering and technology opportunities disguised as a fun, summer day camp. Open to kids in grades 1 through 6 (with internship opportunities available for older students), camp is offered June, July and August, in Rochester, Byron, Stewartville, and Kasson. Click on to find out more.

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