Fourth-grader Nicolette Mann designed a special box, so her little brother could reach the "piano peddles," while seventh-grader Katelyn Eubank added paint rollers to the sides of a wheelchair, so her grandmother could move smoothly through doorways. The students are national winners -- in the second-through-fifth-grade and sixth- through-eighth-grade categories, respectively, in the 2004 Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Program.
Sponsored by Sears through its Craftsman® tools brand and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), the annual competition, which is beginning its ninth year in classrooms across the U.S., invites students to create a new tool or re-think an existing one.
Nicolette and Katelyn each have won a top prize of a $10,000 U.S. savings bond. Ten national finalists -- from second through eighth grade -- have won a $5,000 U.S. savings bond. These top 12 students, who were selected from nearly 9,000 second through eighth graders nationwide, also have won a trip to Chicago for themselves, their parents and their teachers to the national awards ceremony at the Museum of Science and Industry on Monday, September 27.
The event will begin with an "Inventors Showcase" at 11 a.m., followed by an awards presentation at 12 noon, featuring Bob Vila, who is celebrating his 25th year on TV and 15th season as host of "Bob Vila's Home Again."
"Every year, we challenge students to create a simple tool -- a muscle- powered machine," said Bob Vila, spokesperson for the Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Program. "The children put their hearts, talents and ingenious ideas into their inventions -- and always astound us with their problem-solving skills."
The top 12 children in the 2004 competition include: Two national winners (of a $10,000 U.S. savings bond): -- Nicolette Mann, fourth grade, Blue Ridge Academy, Christiansburg, Va., "Piano Peddles for Young Beginners" A box with three, five-inch wooden poles placed on "piano peddles," so children can reach them. -- Katelyn Eubank, seventh grade, Indianola Middle School, Indianola, Iowa, "The Easy Door Assist" Four, vertical rollers on the sides of a wheelchair help older or disabled people "get through doors easier." 10 national finalists (of a $5,000 U. S. savings bond): In the second-through-fifth-grade category: -- Allison Cinq-Mars, fourth grade, North Elementary School, Seekonk, Mass., "No Tip Wheelbarrow" A squared-off front and trap-door bottom make it easy to carry and remove items. -- Emily Farrington, fourth grade, White Oak Elementary School, Swansboro, N.C., "Bulb Planter 2000" Stores up to 25 bulbs, and also creates a hole for, plants and fertilizes each bulb. -- Katie McLogan, fifth grade, Birmingham Covington School, Bloomfield Hills, Mich., "Reclining Wheelchair" By folding down the back and lifting up the footrest, a wheelchair becomes a bed for a disabled person. -- Lauren Matranga, fifth grade, Herod Elementary School, Houston, Texas, "The Wilderness Watcher" A pivoting device on a chair holds an animal watcher's binoculars, notes and more. -- Miranda Rizzolo, fifth grade, The Buckley School, Sherman Oaks, Calif., "Handy Easy Linen Puller (HELP)" Wheels turning on a pole bring clothes from the back of the closet; shoes, too, on a "Lazy Shoesan." In the sixth-through-eighth-grade category: -- Alyssa Zordan, seventh grade, Torrington Middle School, Torrington, Conn., "Grip Stick" A retractable metal tube with spikes on the bottom fits over a cane to help the elderly walk on ice. -- Renee Steinberg, seventh grade, Magen David Yeshivah, Brooklyn, N.Y., "Sit and Go" A folding chair attached to a rolling suitcase provides convenient seating for travelers, both young and old. -- Daniel Gardiner, eighth grade, New Garden Friends School, Greensboro, N.C., "Wide Load" A hatch on the front of a wheelbarrow makes it easy to "dump the cargo with little lift." -- Holly Wrobel, sixth grade, Randall G. Lynch Middle School, Farmington, Ark., "EZ Reach Mailbox for Service Dogs" A vertical mail drop accessible to a dog via a hinged door at the bottom. -- Sean Smith, seventh grade, Wasatch Junior High School, Salt Lake City, Utah, "The Ultra-Great Ice Melter" A pushable, spiked, rolling drum to "pierce the ice" and also dispense salt to the "disrupted surface."
"The Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Program is an innovative, educational opportunity for students. Throughout the inventing process, they examine the world around them; utilize critical thinking and scientific principles; and create real solutions to everyday problems," said Anne Tweed, president of the National Science Teachers Association.
Information about the program is available at NSTA's Web site, http://www.nsta.org/programs/craftsman ; also, by writing to Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards, c/o National Science Teachers Association, 1840 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22201-3000; calling toll-free 1-888-494-4994; or e- mailing firstname.lastname@example.org .
The National Science Teachers Association, founded in 1944, is the world's largest organization dedicated to promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. The association's current membership of more than 55,000 includes science teachers and supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in science education.
Craftsman® is the top-selling tool brand in America and a Sears- exclusive brand.
Sears, Roebuck and Co. (NYSE: S) is a leading broadline retailer providing merchandise and related services. With revenues in 2003 of $41.1 billion, the company offers its wide range of home merchandise, apparel and automotive products and services through more than 2,300 Sears-branded and affiliated stores in the U.S. and Canada, which includes approximately 870 full-line and 1,100 specialty stores in the U.S. Sears also offers a variety of merchandise and services through sears.com, landsend.com, and specialty catalogs. Sears is the only retailer where consumers can find each of the Kenmore®, Craftsman®, DieHard® and Lands' End® brands together -- among the most trusted and preferred brands in the U.S. The company is the largest provider of product repair services with more than 14 million service calls made annually.
SOURCE: Sears, Roebuck and Co.
CONTACT: Carol Simantz for Sears, Roebuck and Co., +1-847-692-6311,
Web site: http://www.nsta.org/programs/craftsman