People of Play (POP), formerly known as the Chicago Toy & Game Group, kicked off its 15th annual Young Inventor Challenge with a new leader at the helm.
3D printing innovator and educator Jazmine Darden, founder of IAMEARHERO assumes the role of program director. Mattel, Magformers, Goliath, and Hasbro are sponsoring the event alongside The United Inventors Association and Female Strong.
“My dream job as a child was to design and build roller coasters,” says Darden. “Creative design is my life’s work and I would not be where I am today without hard work and the mentors who’ve helped guide me. Kids today have big dreams and I’m excited and ready to step into this role and inspire and guide them through The Young Inventor Challenge.”
“We are so fortunate to have Jazmine on our team,“ says Mary Couzin, president and founder of People of Play. “She brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm to the program. Her background in innovation and mentorship are huge assets and will help shape the future of this program.”
Kids ages 6-18 are encouraged to pitch original toy and game ideas for a shot at winning prizes and having their creations brought to market by leading companies. Earlier this year, the 2018 winner, Betcha Can’t arrived at Target through a deal with Pressman.
The current competition runs through Oct. 31. The first 200 entries will receive feedback from professional toy and game inventors while winners in five categories will receive a prize package valued at $250. Winners will be revealed during a special virtual presentation on Saturday, Nov. 21 during People of Play’s CHITAG Week. Full details and entry information can be found at the official site.