ELMWOOD PARK, N.J.—Three student finalists will travel to New York on Jan. 28 to witness the announcements of the grand prize winner and runner-ups in the second annual Bubble Wrap Competition for Young Inventors.
The Grand Prize Winner will be awarded a $10,000 U.S. savings bond, while the second and third place winners will each receive $5,000 and $3,000 U.S. savings bonds, respectively, as well as a gift bag from OfficeMax Inc. The remaining 12 semi-finalists will each receive a $500 U.S. savings bond.
The three finalists, and their inventions, include:
Max Wallack, 11, Natick, Mass.: "Carpal Cushion." An eighth-grader at the Advanced Math and Science Academy, Max used Bubble Wrap cushioning to create an adjustable wrist cushion designed to help alleviate and prevent the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome experienced by computer users as well as agricultural and manufacturing workers in foreign and developing nations.
Hannah Haas, 13, Charlotte, N.C.: “Sensory Wallpaper.” Hannah is a home-schooled eighth-grader who used Bubble Wrap to create a type of wallpaper that engages children afflicted with autism through the combination of a textured bubble surface containing large and small bubbles, and a calming, blue wallpaper background.
Nicolette Mann, 13, Christiansburg, Va.: “Transformable Bubble Wrap Kite.” Nicolette, a home-schooled eighth-grader, used Bubble Wrap to create a single kit that enables the easy assembly of multiple flying kites by providing detailed instructions on how to construct different formations, shapes and styles.
"The innovation, ingenuity and spirited design of the student inventions submitted in this year’s Bubble Wrap Competition for Young Inventors has been nothing short of spectacular, and we’re delighted at how this program continues to motivate young children to tap into their creative and inventive talents,” says William V. Hickey, Sealed Air’s president and chief executive officer. "The wide range of high-caliber entries made the judges’ job of narrowing down the field even more daunting than last year, but these three inventions really stood out for their impressive creativity, usefulness and benefit to society. We congratulate both the students and their mentors, and look forward to celebrating our three finalists in New York City later this month."
Sealed Air’s Bubble Wrap Competition for Young Inventors encourages U.S. students in grades five through eight to design an invention that incorporates the use of Bubble Wrap. Submissions are judged based on originality, creativity, practicality, benefit to society, marketability and feasibility, as well as overall presentation.
This year’s competition attracted more than 1,400 entries, nearly twice the number submitted last year, according to Sealed Air.