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Knobbe Martens Sponsors 30th Annual Irvine Valley College “Astounding Inventions” Competition

| Lance D. SmemoeDamien Howard

Knobbe Martens is pleased to once again sponsor the “Astounding Inventions” Competition for South Orange County students, to be held January 28, 2017. The event, hosted by Irvine Valley College (IVC), was established in 1987 to promote creative thinking, student entrepreneurship, and student interest and learning in math and science. This year, for the first time, organizers introduced a theme for the contest: “Reducing our carbon footprint…SMALL footprints help our environment in BIG ways.” More than 450 students ranging from kindergarten through eighth grade will reveal their ingenious inventions during the event, which culminates in an awards ceremony.

More than 60 judges from the scientific, education, civic, and business communities will choose winners who will share $10,000 in cash prizes, certificates of achievement and ribbons from the IVC Foundation, basing their evaluation on each inventor’s originality, usefulness, and a written description and illustration. It will not be the first time the students’ inventions are judged – nearly 4,000 students from 40 schools shared their ideas with judges at their schools in the fall of 2016. The top 10% were chosen to move on to the January competition.

In addition, Knobbe Martens will hand-pick two inventions, one from a student in the Irvine Unified School District and one from a student in the Tustin Unified School District, based on their potential patentability. The firm will then work with the students on a pro bono basis to conduct prior art searches and write patent applications for the inventions.

"Knobbe Martens is proud to support the ‘Astounding Inventions’ competition for the third year in a row. It’s incredibly rewarding to see so many young thinkers engaged in creative, and often quite technical, projects that solve real-world problems they’ve identified,” said Knobbe Martens Partner Lance Smemoe.

Damien Howard of the firm added, “Every year we look forward to working with the students whose inventions we’ve selected to go through the patenting process. Not only is it fun to assist young clients so enthusiastic about the possibility of patenting their work, it’s also a great reminder to us that the future is wide open when it comes to the innovation we can expect to see in the years and decades ahead.”

The Event will be held at the college’s Hart Gymnasium and, in addition to the students’ inventions, will feature a variety of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) activities, displays, and demonstrations.

The schedule for the event is:

9:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.      Judging of student inventions
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.    Public viewing of student inventions
12:00 p.m.                         Awards Ceremony: Grade K, 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8
1:15 p.m.                           Awards Ceremony: Grades 4 and 5
10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.      Displays and demonstrations outside of Hart Gym

Contact: Nicholas Gaffney 415-732-7801