judging in progress
Challenge Details

YOUR CHALLENGE IS:

Design a pet toy for a cat or a dog

Challenge Closed





Get ready to join the first Future Engineers Invention Challenge. This year theme - Toys For Pets! Put your inventor’s hat on and stretch your imagination to design a new pet toy for a cat or dog. The winner will receive $5000, and the winning design could even be manufactured to benefit STEM Education. Of course, it depends on the final design, and we can't wait to see what you invent!
 
Second through 8th-grade students are invited to enter. Please submit a name for your pet toy, up to two images of your design (e.g., sketch, 3D model, or a photo of a hand-built prototype), and a written summary limited to 200 words or less that explains your toy.
 
Consider the following when making your design: 

  • Cat/Dog: Is your toy for a cat or dog? 
  • $20 Price Point: When designing your pet toy, keep in mind that it should sell for $20 (or less) to consumers.
  • Pet Toy Category: There are many different types of pet toys. Will you design a squeaky? A plush, chew, or rope toy? A combination of ideas or something totally new? 
  • Safety: Safety for pets is essential! There should be nothing in your toy that could injure a cat or a dog. No electronics, wires, or batteries
  • Purpose: What is the purpose of your toy? What makes it stand out? Why do you think this will be every pet owner's new favorite pet toy? For more ideas, explore the BRAINSTORMING section below. 
Please do not include faces or names in your entry - unless, of course, they are the faces of your furry pet friends! Remember to review the CONTEST RULES for all challenge details. Get designing, and good luck! 
 
 
 

DATES / JUDGING CRITERIA / PRIZES

You have to play by the rules to win.

WHO CAN ENTER

Individual Grade 2-8 Students in US public, private, and home schools (including U.S. territories/possessions, BIE, and DoDEA schools). NO team entries allowed! For all eligibility details, please refer to the rules.
Grades 2-8

JUDGING CRITERIA

Grades 2-8
 
40
POINTS
The likelihood of your design to entertain a cat or dog
40
POINTS
Feasibility of your toy design to be adapted for manufacture as a safe pet toy that can be sold to consumers for a price point of $20 or less
20
POINTS
Originality of your design

HOW TO ENTER

Please review the Challenge Rules and FAQ prior to creating your entry.

Challenge Rules FAQ

TEACHERS
Sign up to register your class and manage entries. We now support Google Classroom too!

STUDENTS
Sign up on your own, or use a code to participate with your class.

STUDENT USING GOOGLE CLASSROOM?
Login to Submit

STUDENT & TEACHER SIGN UP
PROGRAM DATES
Challenge Launch
02
February
Entries Close
19
March
Finalists Announced
06
May
Finalist Interviews
10
May
Winners Announced
24
May
Challenge Launch
02
February
Entries Close
19
March
Finalists Announced
06
May
Finalist Interviews
10
May
Winners Announced
24
May

PRIZES

 

Dive Into The Challenge

Lesson Plan Details and Challenge Tips!

1. Links & Lessons

Learn about design and pet toys

2. Brainstorm & Design

Pick a pet and plan out your design
Links & Lessons
Brainstorm & Design
Links & Lessons
>
Links & Lessons
Brainstorm & Design

Brainstorm & Design

Brainstorming Idea
Cat/Dog

Will you be inventing a toy for a cat or a dog? Cats and can dogs differ in size and toy preference. Think about the different activities dogs and cats like to do and how those can be incorporated in a pet toy. If you pick a cat, you can consider a toy with a place for cat nip or a scratching option. If you choose dog, you may want to consider a toy for fetching, chewing or allows for a game like tug-of-war.

Brainstorming Idea
Owner Interactive

Toys that require the owner to interact with their pet strengthen the owner-pet bond. These types of toys typically involve a back-and-forth action between the owner and the pet. If you want your pet toy to be owner interactive, think about what actions the owner and pet need to do to use the toy. Will the toy be a fetch toy (ex., frisbee or ball)? Or a tug toy (ex. rope)?

Brainstorming Idea
Training

Training is an important activity for all pets. Training builds confidence, provides mental stimulation, and improves the human-animal bond. Will your toy be used for training? If so, what will it help teach your pet? From nose canisters to help train a pet's sense of smell to agility props, a toy can teach a pet new skills and behaviors. What kind of training toy will you design?

Brainstorming Idea
Treat Dispenser

We all know pets love getting treats! Treat dispensers are toys that release or hold a treat your pet gains access to after they partake in a desired behavior. Some treat dispenser toys need to be moved or squeezed for the pet to access the treat. These toys can help fight off boredom and provide great mental stimulation for the pet. Will your toy dispense treats, and if so, how?

Brainstorming Idea
Self-Amusement

Want a toy that keeps a pet busy while they are on their own? Think about incorporating features that encourage self-amusement interactions, such as puzzles or sounds. These types of toys are usually stronger, more durable toys that pets can play with while at home alone. Some examples are chewing toys, puzzle toys, and squeaky toys.

Brainstorming Idea
Comfort

With your design, a toy that provides comfort to a pet is something to consider. Many pets use plush toys to sleep, cuddle, and calm them down. Can you think of a comfort toy design? What will set your design apart from what is already out there?  

 

 

Brainstorming Idea
Multifunctional

Can’t think of one purpose your toy will serve? Incorporate two or more! Toys can be multifunctional and serve several purposes. From chew toys that also clean teeth to a fetch toy that can be used for tug-of-war, any combination could work! Think about creative ways to incorporate two functions in your pet toy.

 

Brainstorming Idea
Durability

Pets can be rough with their toys, so it’s important to create a toy that can withstand their play. Choosing materials that are durable and resistant to wear and tear will improve your toy design and keep the pet safe. Reinforcing seams, or joints that may be subject to excessive pulling or chewing will help make your toy last. Consider how your design will make your toy more durable. 

Brainstorming Idea
You Pick

Brainstorm any idea that relates to your toy design. The possibilities are endless!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Digital Tools

Build & Iterate

FOR THE CLASSROOM

Group Size

Split into 8 teams

Approach

Assign each team a video lesson and have them present what they learned

Material

None

Educator tools

 

When pets and people come together, life gets a little better

Multipet International, Inc. is the premier award-winning designer and supplier of pet products throughout the world. Founded in 1995, we continue to pride our company on the basic principles of putting unique design, superior quality, and fun into the world of pet products. We test our products for safety, durability, and a tail wag of approval. Our diverse toys keep dogs and cats active, engaged, and happy. When pets and people come together, life gets a little better. At Multipet, we make that happen. Our products are purchased throughout the world by people who recognize the need for progressive toys for today’s pets.

Manufacturing Partner