The Leonardo’s Engineering Challenge for Wizarding Dayz: Design your own Mystical Invention!


Calling All Young Inventors! The Leonardo is putting the “E” into S.T.E.A.M. with our cardboard engineering challenge for ages 5-13! We want you to be FEARLESS in your creativity and build a one-of-a-kind mystical invention make out of cardboard and other simple supplies!

ABOUT THE LEONARDO: Utah’s Center for Creativity and Innovation, The Leonardo is named after Leonardo da Vinci. Over his lifetime, da Vinci created some of the world’s most famous artworks; does the Mona Lisa ring a bell? But he is also one of the most prolific inventors in all of history! His sketchbooks are packed full of designs for fantastic, futuristic inventions he dreamed up long before the technology to actually build them even existed.  These include flying machines, a robotic knight, armored tanks, scuba diving gear, a giant crossbow, and revolving bridges. As both an inventor and an artist, da Vinci was driven by his intense curiosity, fearless creativity, and unstoppable desire to dream big.

THE CHALLENGE…Should you choose to accept it!: Create a one-of-a-kind mystical invention! It can do anything you want it to! Anything that it’s supposed to do but that you can’t figure out how to make it work, just write about it in your written description! We have good imaginations too! Reading your Description will help us see your invention through your magical eyes!

Approved Materials: Your mystical invention can ONLY be made out of: corrugated cardboard, box board, card stock, cardboard tubes, paper cups, paper plates, wrapping paper, paper bags, basically any type of standard office or household paper, stickers, foam sheets, felt, tin foil, wax paper, cling wrap, popsicle sticks, tooth picks, rubber bands, tacks, cotton balls, feathers, googly eyes, beads, buttons, bells, yarn, string, craft puff balls, pipe cleaners, bubble wrap, paper clips, clothes pins, binder clips, any standard adhesives (hot glue, white glue, masking tape, duct tape, etc.), paint, crayons, makers, pens, pencils, and your own creativity (no parents or Pinterest)! However, the main item needs to be cardboard or box board of type. You can use whatever tools you need.

Moving Parts?: Your invention does NOT need to have any moving parts. But, if it does AND you are OK with other guests touching it, please attach clear and simple written instructions on how to operate it. If you do not want guests touching your mystical invention, please attach a sign that says “Please do not touch”.

Strong and Secure: Please make sure your mystical invention is secured and will not fall apart when moved. We recommend that – at a minimum – you mount it to a sturdy cardboard base plate. The inventor (you!) is solely responsible for ensuring the invention is in good condition when it is turned in and that it can handle being moved around by the judges. The Leonardo nor Wizarding Dayz are liable for any damage done to your mystical invention at any time.

Size Restriction: All mystical inventions must fit within the following dimensions: 24”x24”x24”.

Label: Securing attach a label to your mystical invention that clearly states the name of the invention. This label should be put where it is easy to read.

Description: On a piece of lined writing paper or printed paper, handwrite or type a 500 word or less description of how the invention works and what it does. Please make sure the handwriting in neat and clear enough for others to read.  (Parents and guardians may help with typing up the description, but it should in the Young Inventor’s own words.)

Entry Form: On a 5×3 card, clearly write the name and age of the Young Inventor, guardian’s email, and the name of your mystical invention. Staple this card to the top of your Description paper.


Only one entry per person. You do not need to be present to win.

Where to drop off your mystical invention: At The Leonardo’s booth inside Wizarding Dayz on February 23 or 24; must be dropped off before 4pm on Saturday, February 24.

Judging will take place on Saturday, February 24 starting at 4:30pm. You do not need to be present during judging. The name of the winning Young Inventors will be announced at 6pm at Wizarding Dayz and will be posted the next week on The Leonardo’s and Wizarding Days FaceBook pages. Within 2 weeks, The Leonardo will email the winners with instructions about picking up their prize. If the winner is present when the winners are announced at Wizarding Dayz, they can pick up their prize then from The Leonardo. They will need to verify what the guardian’s email is in order to receive the prize.

If Young Inventors want to take home your mystical invention, please pick them up before the close of Wizarding Dayz on February 24. Any mystical inventions that are left will be taken to The Leonardo for possible display or be recycled.


Note: We are still working with Wizarding Dayz on gathering more items for prizes, but at a minimum the prizes will be those that are listed below.

There are 3 divisions based on age: 5-6 year olds, 7-10 year olds, and 11-13 year olds.

For each Age Group, 3 awards will be given:

  • 1st Place: A Leonardo Family Membership (good for 2 adults and 4 kids for 1 year and various perks.)
  • 2nd Place: A Leonardo Individual Memberships (good for 1 person for 1 year, discounted admissions for family and friends, and other perks)
  • 3rd Place: 4 free general admission tickets to The Leonardo, good for 1 year.

Overall, 4 Honorable Mentions will be given; each winner will receive 4 free general admission tickets to The Leonardo, good for 1 year:

  • “Best invention for taking with you into the Wardrobe.”
  • “Most fun since the invention of quidditch”.
  • “Most likely invented by the Mad Hatter”
  • “Most helpful invention for traveling to Mordor.”
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