Chicago Toy & Game Group Names Young Inventor Winner

younginventorCHICAGO - The winners are in for the ninth annual Young Inventor Challenge, held annually by the Chicago Toy & Game Fair.

This year's contest showcased a total of 107 original toy and game entries created by nearly 200 children on November 21 at Chicago’s Navy Pier. Almost one third of this year's entries came from the British International School of Chicago, whose student Athena Gottleib, 6, took home the second place prize in the Junior Category. Entrants came from as far as Mexico and California, with the Senior Category second place winners, Nathaniel Grgurina and Kodo Elder (both 17 years old) flying from San Rafael, CA.

“This was, without a doubt, the best Young Inventor Challenge yet," said Young Inventor Challenge Director, Julie Blake. "To see so much creativity packed into such a small space is incredibly inspiring. Given the growing importance of STEM education, we were thrilled to see so many games, including our two grand prize winners, that demonstrated how much fun science and technology can be.”

Prize packages were on offer by the event’s presenting partner Spin Master including Meccanoid G15 KS robot, Meccano building sets, Legendary Yoda, Air Hogs Millennium Falcon and Zoomer Kitty. Grand prize winners and their families were also treated to dinner following the event where they got one-on-one time with Spin Master marketing and toy design professionals.

“We were impressed with the level of ingenuity on display at this year’s Young Inventor Challenge,” said Michelle Kellner, senior director, integrated media, social and experiential marketing, Spin Master. “As a company founded on innovation, we’re proud to support the next generation of toy and game creators as they develop their talents and we’re especially encouraged to see the role science and technology has played in their creative process.”

Senior category winner Steven Huetteman, 11, was beyond excited to take home the first place prize for his game, Chromo Tag. He explained that the game is like playing paintball without the paint, and instead, players t-shirts change color when they get wet. Junior category winner, Kedar Narayann ,7, (aka “Little Code Ninja”) won the first place prize for his game, Storibot, which teaches blind kids to code using braille and velcro game pieces. Kedar is on a mission to help children not only play games, but also learn to make them.

As part of their prize package, first place winners will have the opportunity to present their original creations at New York Toy Fair courtesy of Toy Industry Association in February 2016, and present an award at the Toy of the Year awards gala at The American Museum Of Natural History.

They will also receive a behind the scenes tour of the New York Toy Fair, and Lund and Co. headquarters where Tickle Me Elmo was developed.

This year’s People’s Choice award went to Malik Haleem, 9, and Miguel Segovia, 10, for their creation Hoop Shooters, which proved to be a favorite among the fair’s more than 30,000 attendees.

Playthings Staff | Playthings Staff

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