When I was in middle school and junior high, there wasn't much out there in the way of creative competition. Sure, there was plenty of sports related activities of just about any nature you could think of. But competitions that challenged our minds were fewer and farther between.

I loved science and math when I was a kid. I guess I loved english too, but it wasn't nearly as gratifying. I enjoyed the process of hypothesizing, working the data, and coming up with the results....good, bad, or indifferent. But I never really felt I had any way to do more than my never-fun-enough school work.

Well, as usual, the younger generations have access to all the cool stuff. On Saturday March 17, the Cross Insurance Center will be hosting the folks from the Maine Invention Convention. It's a statewide competition that begins at the school level, initially, with students competing against fellow students.

Kids work among themselves with the guidance of select teachers in each school. They solve problems and hone those skills in preparation for the contest, and learn to work together to solve the tasks at hand. Their own description from their Facebook page puts it much more succinctly:

"The Maine Invention Convention provides an opportunity for middle school students to think creatively and practically as they explore, create, and promote innovative solutions to everyday challenges in their world and beyond."

To me, it sounds like a bunch of school kids that are already more equipped to handle day to day life than I am. Maybe your child, or a family member is participating. Make sure to go and cheer them on! Lord knows, we should encourage these brilliant young minds any chance we get.