Cardigan Mountain School A boarding and day school for boys in grades 6 through 9
Gates Invention & Innovation Competition Winner for Best Presentation standing with his display

Gates Invention & Innovation Program 

Boys who are doing are boys who are learning, and there is no better example of that idea at Cardigan than the Gates Invention & Innovation Program and Competition. 

This year-long class encourages creative thinking, risk-taking, and entrepreneurial spirit, while developing an appreciation for hard work and accomplishment. Beginning each fall, every student or student team is charged with designing and building a prototype of an invention that performs a practical function, makes life easier or safer, entertains, or solves an everyday problem.

Throughout the winter, the Gates student inventors tinker with and refine their prototypes. Then as spring nears, they refine their marketing materials and perfect their sales pitches for the The Charles C. Gates Invention & Innovation Competition, held annually during Spring Family Weekend. Every student or team must present their idea, prototype, and market analysis to a panel of expert judges, who identify a pool of finalists from which they then select the winners. Prizes are awarded for First, Second, and Third Place, as well as "Best Salesman" and "Best Market Research." Ideas and designs that seem particularly promising to the judges are awarded the prestigious "Patent Nod."

Who takes Gates?

All Cardigan sixth and seventh graders take Gates, and eighth and ninth graders can add it as an elective if their schedule allows.

Gates at Cardigan is just a natural fit. Boys are tinkerers, boys like to take things apart. Boys are so inquisitive, especially at this age. Our program provides the ability to take things apart, put things together, to learn from that process, to be inventive.Former Gates Coach DavID Auerbach 

The Virtue of Being an Inventor

2021 Gates Competition Highlights

From shock absorbers for tennis rackets to magnetic 3-ring binders, the students tackled a variety of problems and presented their unique solutions at the 13th Annual Charles C. Gates Innovation and Invention Competition.

The Charles C. Gates Invention & Innovation Competition is an academic and afternoon program offering at Cardigan made possible by the Gates Frontiers Fund.

Gates Expo

Photo Gallery

Cardigan's sixth and seventh graders present their projects to the community at the 12th Annual Gates Invention & Innovation Competition Exposition held in 2019.

See the Photos