Nearly 9,000 children submitted invention ideas and 36 have been named winners in the 2004 Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Program -- which annually invites second through eighth graders to invent a new tool or re-think an existing one. Now in its eighth year in classrooms across the U.S., the Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Program is among the largest invention competitions in the world. The program is sponsored by Sears through its Craftsman® tools brand and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA).
"Each year, we challenge children to look at the world around them and develop practical solutions to everyday problems," said Bob Vila, spokesperson for the Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Program. "We ask them to create simple machines -- muscle-powered inventions without motors or batteries -- and they respond with the most amazing ideas!"
Students' entries are judged in two grade categories -- second-through-fifth and sixth-through-eighth. Each of the two grade categories includes awards for six national finalists, six second-place regional winners and six third-place regional winners. In total:
-- 12 national finalists each will receive a $5,000 U.S. savings bond, as well as a trip for themselves, their parents and their teachers to the national awards ceremony in Chicago on September 27, at which time two top winners of an additional $5,000 bond will be named; -- 12 second-place regional winners each will receive a $500 U.S. savings bond; and -- 12 third-place regional winners each will receive a $250 U.S. savings bond.
"The Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Program teaches science in a very practical, yet inspiring way. Students not only learn the principles of how tools operate, but also are encouraged to think how they or someone else could accomplish tasks better, faster or easier than ever before," said Gerry Wheeler, executive director of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). "Our program has grown tremendously, because educators and students enjoy this incredible opportunity to teach, learn and invent."
The 12 national finalists, 12 second-place regional winners and 12 third- place regional winners are as follows:
National finalists -- second-through-fifth-grade category ($5,000 bond): Allison Cinq-Mars, fourth grade Nicolette Mann, fourth grade North Elementary School, Seekonk, Blue Ridge Academy, Mass. Christiansburg, Va. "No Tip Wheelbarrow" -- A squared-off "Piano Peddles for Young front and trap-door bottom make Beginners" -- A box with three, it easy to carry and remove items. five-inch wooden poles placed on "piano peddles," so children can reach them. Emily Farrington, fourth grade Katie McLogan, fifth grade White Oak Elementary School, Birmingham Covington School, Swansboro, N.C. Bloomfield Hills, Mich. "Bulb Planter 2000" -- Stores up to "Reclining Wheelchair" -- By 25 bulbs, and also creates a hole for, folding down the back and plants and fertilizes each bulb. lifting up the footrest, a wheelchair becomes a bed for a disabled person. Lauren Matranga, fifth grade Miranda Rizzolo, fifth grade Herod Elementary School, Houston, Texas The Buckley School, Sherman "The Wilderness Watcher" -- A pivoting Oaks, Calif. device on a chair holds an animal "Handy Easy Linen Puller" (HELP) watcher's binoculars, notes and more. -- Wheels turning on a pole bring clothes from the back of the closet; shoes, too, on a "Lazy Shoesan." National finalists -- sixth-through-eighth-grade category ($5,000 bond): Alyssa Zordan, seventh grade Renee Steinberg, seventh grade Torrington Middle School, Torrington, Magen David Yeshivah, Brooklyn, Conn. N.Y. "Grip Stick" -- A retractable metal "Sit and Go" -- A folding chair tube with spikes on the bottom fits attached to a rolling suitcase over a cane to help the elderly walk provides convenient seating for on ice. travelers, both young and old. Daniel Gardiner, eighth grade Katelyn Eubank, seventh grade New Garden Friends School, Greensboro, Indianola Middle School, N.C. Indianola, Iowa "Wide Load" -- A hatch on the front of "The Easy Door Assist" -- Four, a wheelbarrow makes it easy to vertical rollers on the sides "dump the cargo with little lift." of a wheelchair help older or disabled people "get through doors easier." Holly Wrobel, sixth grade Sean Smith, seventh grade Randall G. Lynch Middle School, Wasatch Junior High School, Farmingon, Ark. Salt Lake City, Utah "EZ Reach Mailbox for Service Dogs" -- "The Ultra-Great Ice Melter" -- A vertical mail drum to drop accessible A pushable, spiked, rolling to a dog via a hinged door at the drum to "pierce the ice" and bottom. also dispense salt to the "disrupted surface."
Second-place regional winners -- second-through-fifth-grade category ($500 bond):
Eric Sickler, fifth grade Mara Lanis, third grade Tunkhannock Area Middle School, Memorial School, Cinnaminson, Tunkhannock, Pa. N.J. "Hand Saving Chisel" -- A "slide weight" "Adjust-A-Chair" -- Adjustable with a hand grip added to a chisel, legs adapt a lawn chair to eliminates the need for a hammer. hilly areas, such as at an outdoor concert. Jessica Wellington, second grade Kyle Sturgeon, fourth grade Pharr Elementary School, Snellville, Ga. Adams Elementary School, Hamilton, Ohio "Roller Scissors" -- Wheels make it "The Pull Easy Shovel" -- A easier and less tiresome to hold shovel with a lid and pull and cut with a scissors. cord, as well as wheels, conveniently lifts, holds and removes snow. Bracken Schreiner, fifth grade Jimmie Nell Morgan, third Loop ISD, Loop, Texas grade "Tree Saw Guide" -- Keeps the saw blade Country Club Elementary lined up and the tree limb in place, School, Farmington, N.M. when tall trees are being trimmed. "The Christmas Light Wheel for Trees" -- A spool, pole and fishing-rod combo puts lights on trees and takes them off, without a ladder.
Second-place regional winners -- sixth-through-eighth-grade category ($500 bond):
Katharine Meinertz, sixth grade Matthew Sisto, sixth grade Gallagher Middle School, Smithfield, Bernardsville Middle School, R.I. Bernardsville, N.J. "Peek Free Privacy Fence" -- A "Adjusti-Horse" -- With two-section fence adds four feet more adjustable legs, this tool privacy, when one is lifted atop "provides a level surface the other. while you are working on a sloped ground." Seth Rabinowitz, sixth grade Chandler Macocha, eighth grade Shilling Farms Middle School, Oxford Middle School, Oxford, Collierville, Tenn. Mich. "Rabino-Whisk" -- A "small, plastic "The Roofer's Dream" -- Wheels, pushing plate" helps clean batter off extendable tubing and a grip of a whisk. adapt a shingle remover to different lengths, roofing angles and jobs. (Chandler was a 2003 national winner for a different invention.) Brad Vorbeck, seventh grade Christopher Godoy, eighth grade Holy Infant School, Ballwin, Mo. Pistor Middle School, Tucson, "Foldable Crutches" -- Hinges enable Ariz. crutches to fold in half, for convenient "Clam Shaft 1.0" -- A storage at home or in church. wrench-like device, with wedged tips, to open clams, "exposing the meat for extraction."
Third-place regional winners - second-through-fifth-grade category ($250 bond):
Molly Rowland, fourth grade Zachary Hays, fifth grade Aitken Elementary School, Seekonk, Maple Hill Middle School, Mass. Castleton, N.Y. "The Handy Helper" -- A holder with "standXtender" -- An aluminum suction cups enables "those who have and rubber, elliptical plate use of only one hand" to open jars. attaches to a kickstand to keep a bike "upright on almost any surface." Brandon Steele, fifth grade Moira King, fifth grade Summit Hill Elementary School, St. Cletus School, LaGrange, Alpharetta, Ga. Ill. "Snowmaster" -- A shovel attached to a "Card Chair Cart" -- PVC pipes bike moves snow easier, as "my legs create a frame and wheels add are much stronger than my arms." mobility "to make the carrying of card table chairs easier." Tyler Shepherd, fifth grade Alyson Wong, fourth grade Parkview Baptist School, Baton Rouge, Katherine Delmar Burke School, La. San Francisco, Calif. "The Easy Pour" -- A movable "cradle" "Two Way O.J." -- A two-sided holds a milk jug, for "old and very cap -- one with a filter, the young people to pour heavy liquids." other without -- helps pour a glass of orange juice with or without pulp.
Third-place regional winners -- sixth-through-eighth-grade category ($250 bond):
Christian Viola, sixth grade Alex Stinson, eighth grade Our Lady of Mercy School, Madison, Conn. Lake Braddock Middle School, "The Angel of Mercy" -- A "gondola" Burke, Va. lifted hydraulically provides a "safe "The Mechanical Plunger" -- A haven for victims and firefighters." device to help gardeners push wet clay and dirt out of their "hole digger, used to plant bulbs." Daniel Soyars, eighth grade Lauren Stanula, seventh grade Southwestern Middle School, DeLand, Fla. St. Andrew School, Milford, Ohio "Canoe Mobilizer" -- A lightweight "The 'Old Glory' Keeper" -- A trailer of PVC piping, a "fabric sling" "combination storage box/flag and wheels, to move a canoe or kayak. holder/display unit for the American Flag ... with flag folding instructions." Alexander Asbill, sixth grade Robert Roeder, sixth grade Spring Hill Middle School, Bentonville, Hyde Park Middle School, Las Ark. Vegas, Nev. "Christmas Light Caddy" -- A "crank "The Shifter" -- The center of a pole" removes lights from the roof shovel is replaced by a sieve, line, wrapping them on a detachable to help sift "rocks and gravel spool. from the dirt in the garden."
The Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Program is designed to teach students the scientific principles of how tools operate; introduce them to working with hand tools; encourage them to think creatively about the world around them; and enable them to develop practical solutions to everyday problems.
For more information on the Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Program, write to: Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards, c/o National Science Teachers Association, 1840 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22201-3000; call toll-free 1-888-494-4994; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org . Information also is available at NSTA's Web site, www.nsta.org/programs/craftsman .
Founded in 1944, the National Science Teachers Association 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.
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