About Us

Kids Invent! stimulates the creative instincts of children while they design and build mock-ups of toys, prepare business plans, present marketing materials, and create web pages. As they develop their toys, kids learn to present their toy concepts to other students, demonstrate their use, think through the price and cost of the toy, and work with other kids on a variety of tasks.

Kids Invent!™ encourages kids to continue applying their creative talents long after the program has concluded. One opportunity is to showcase their inventions at the national Toy Hall of Fame and in contests and programs. Kids Invent! also empowers kids to consider commercial applications of their ideas.


Kids Invent! was developed as a collaborative effort between Dr. Ed Sobey and Dr. Timothy Stearns. Dr. Sobey is known nationally as an expert on children’s creativity and learning. He has authored several books, served as the first Executive Director of the National Invention Center, and was the creator of the television show “The Idea Factory,” which was aired on the ABC affiliate in Fresno, California.  Dr. Stearns is a nationally known educator in entrepreneurship at California State University, Fresno, having created programs that enable children and young adults to understand business creation.

In 1995, Dr. Sobey and Dr. Stearns were awarded a grant from the Lemelson Foundation to design and conduct a university program which young adults would create, develop, model, and compose a business plan for a toy idea. Later, they applied knowledge gained from that experience to develop Kids Invent!™.


Our mission is to strengthen our community and empower our youth by providing quality hands-on after school programs that incorporate science, math, innovation and entrepreneurship, delivered through service learning opportunities for college students.


To provide seamless leadership between the university and the community that establishes, enhances, and creates long-term sustainability in quality after school program for children K-12 so that every child in the valley has access to safe after school choices.

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