Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Program Honors Ideas of 36 Children

Selected From About 8,500 2nd - 8th Graders Nationwide, 36 Win $250, $500 or $5,000 Bonds; Two Will Win More

Proving the adage that "ideas are like gold," 36 children have earned $250, $500 or $5,000 savings bonds for their prizewinning inventions in the 2005 Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Program. They were selected from about 8,500 second-through- eighth-graders nationwide, who accepted the program's challenge to invent a new tool or re-think an existing one.

Now in its ninth 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).

"I've worked with hundreds of tools during my 25-year career on TV -- but, the tools our Young Inventors have designed are in a class of their own," said Bob Vila, host of "Bob Vila's Home Again" and spokesperson for the Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Program. "Our challenge to the children is simple: solve an everyday problem by creating a muscle-powered tool. Their response is extraordinary -- with tools that do everything from making household tasks easier, to improving the lives of the young, disabled or elderly."

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 26, 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

"The Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Program offers students and teachers a wonderful opportunity to engage in practical, creative experiments and apply key scientific principles," said Gerry Wheeler, executive director of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). "Our program is very popular because it gives students from schools of every size -- from home schools, to parochial and public schools -- a chance to be honored for their innovative ideas."

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):

   Lindsey Kenyon, fourth grade          Rachael Barbush, fourth grade
   Dodge Elementary School,              St. Theresa School,
   East Amherst, N.Y.                    New Cumberland, Pa.
   "E-Z Grout Cleaner" - a               "A Scooter Kickstand" - a U-shaped
   long-handled tool that holds          lever under a scooter kicks down to
   brushes set eight inches apart,       lift up the front of the scooter,
   to clean floor-tile grout.            so it stands by itself.

   Robert Maloney, fifth grade           Olivia Conrad, fourth grade
   Woodward Academy, College Park, Ga.   Adams Elementary School,
   "Handy-Lift" - "a hand-powered        Hamilton, Ohio
   forklift" to move heavy items in      "Foot Elevator" - a tool that works
   and out of the car, truck or          "like a kickstand for a medical
   minivan.                              boot," raising and relieving
                                         pressure on an injured person's

   William Helms, fifth grade            Ryan Jordan, fifth grade
   Ruth Doyal Intermediate School,       Corbett Elementary School,
   Conway, Ark.                          Tucson, Ariz.
   "Chicken Feeder" - a pulley system    "Extract-a-Nail" - a W-shaped tool
   helps a person with arthritis feed    with a center that hooks on a nail
   chickens without lifting a heavy      and two sides that push together to
   bag.                                  pull it out smoothly.

   National finalists - sixth-through-eighth-grade category ($5,000 bond):

   Stefanie Stallone, seventh grade      Christopher Whetzel, sixth grade
   St. Clare School,                     Marstellar Middle School,
   Staten Island, N.Y.                   Bristow, Va.
   "Doggie Water Walker" - a treadmill   "Over the Edge Wheelchair Lift" - a
   that fits in the bathtub, to help a   pulley system "to help my mom up
   dog gently exercise after an injury.  when she leans over the side of her

   Chelsea Townsend, seventh grade       Tylan Stone, eighth grade
   Crystal Lake Middle School,           The Edge Academy, Akron, Ohio
   Pompano Beach, Fla.                   "Dew Rake" - a swimming "noodle" on
   "Surf Rider" - a wheeled cart that    a handle to pull through morning
   holds the tail of a surfboard, so a   dew, "to knock the moisture down"
   child can pull rather than carry it.  and save water.

   Olivia Wiese, seventh grade           Kirstie James, sixth grade
   Newman Grove Public School,           Hyde Park Middle School,
   Newman Grove, Neb.                    Las Vegas, Nev.
   "Helping 'Hand' L" - a "portable      "Curved Sander" - a sander that
   handle" for a car-door frame to       automatically adjusts to the shape
   help older or handicapped people      of a sculpture as the sculptor
   get in or out.                        "moves it up and down."

   Second-place regional winners - second-through-fifth-grade category
   ($500 bond):

   Cassie Sadoff, fifth grade            Jenna Robinson, fifth grade
   Birch Lane School,                    Tunkhannock Area Middle School,
   Massapequa Park, N.Y.                 Tunkhannock, Pa.
   "The Up Up and Away" - lever with     "Super Shopping Cart" - bicycle
   a wood base and "lacrosse shaft"      brakes added to a shopping cart
   lifts furniture for vacuuming         "help to stop it from going
   and more.                             downhill."

   Kaitlyn Sizer, third grade            Brittany Blum, fifth grade
   Orchard Park Elementary School,       St. Francis de Sales School,
   Fort Mill, S.C.                       Lake Zurich, Ill.
   "One-Handed Rolling Pen" - a handle   "The E-Z Can Strainer" - handled
   on a "regular rolling pen" helps a    device holds an opened can and lid,
   person roll out dough with one hand.  so a person, especially with
                                         arthritis, can strain off the

   Bernhard Goettert, fifth grade        Trevor Summers-Lopez, third grade
   Parkview Baptist School,              Holmes Elementary School,
   Baton Rouge, La.                      San Diego, Calif.
   "The Tennis Ball Collector" -         "Mr. Miter" - tool "to measure
   pushable "box on wheels" rolls over   angles for miter cuts and act as
   and picks up tennis balls from        a guide for the saw while clamping
   the court.                            onto the material ... to be cut."

   Second-place regional winners - sixth-through-eighth-grade category
   ($500 bond):

   Constancia Malahias, seventh grade    Brendan Murphy, seventh grade
   Clark Lane Middle School,             Odyssey School, Stevenson, Md.
   Waterford, Conn.                      "The Speed Demon" - brake handles
   "Fold Down Step Stool" - steps        added to the right and left of a
   attached inside a bathroom vanity     sled so "when you pull them up you
   door open so a child can reach        will stop or turn."
   the sink.

   Wilson Hanna, sixth grade             Roxane Kaale, sixth grade
   Bob Martinez Middle School,           Indianola Middle School,
   Lutz, Fla.                            Indianola, Iowa
   "Grab and Go Cane" - a "grabber       "The Handy Wood Helper" - holds
   arm" with a "trigger" attached to     unevenly shaped wood (via a hook
   a cane, to help pick items up         attached to a PVC pipe on a dowel
   off the ground.                       rod), so it can be chopped.

   Jesse Huber, eighth grade             Tavane Rapp, sixth grade
   USD222, Washington, Kan.              Hyde Park Middle School,
   "Tile Puller" - a 90-degree-angled    Las Vegas, Nev.
   wooden device with two handles,       "Universal Antenna Wrench" - a tool
   to pull a piece of floor tile         to "simplify the job of removing or
   into place.                           replacing antennas on ... vehicles
                                         at ... car washes."

   Third-place regional winners - second-through-fifth-grade category
   ($250 bond):

   Taylor Wood, fifth grade              Rachel Miller, fourth grade
   Maple Hill Middle School,             North East Intermediate School,
   Castleton, N.Y.                       North East, Pa.
   "Toilet Seat 3000" - "an adjustable   "Stud-be-Still" - a tool to help
   toilet seat to accommodate ... the    build a wall by keeping "your stud
   small child to the large adult."      still while you toe nail the stud
                                         board into the floorboard."

   John Patrick Shaw, third grade        Morgan Forgette, fifth grade
   Woodlawn School, Davidson, N.C.       St. Francis de Sales School,
   "The Sweet-Gum Baller 2005" - "push   Lake Zurich, Ill.
   mower" type of tool to remove         "Sani-Scooper" - a scoop with a
   "burred sweet-gum balls" from the     hollow handle and a bag on the end
   yard.                                 to make it easier and more sanitary
                                         to clean the litter box.

   Kinsey Cation, second grade           Erica Eden, fifth grade
   Eanes Elementary School,              Katherine Finchy Elementary School,
   Austin, Texas                         Palm Springs, Calif.
   "Super Fish Tank Cleaner" - cleans    "The Piano Pal" - "a two seat piano
   two sides of a fish tank and          bench, that moves side to side" so
   extracts dirty water without          student and teacher can sit next
   getting hands wet.                    to, but not bump into, each other.

   Third-place regional winners - sixth-through-eighth-grade category
   ($250 bond):

   Kyle Gerlach, sixth grade             Andrew Graney, seventh grade
   Gallagher Middle School,              Holy Rosary School, Claymont, Del.
   Smithfield, R.I.                      "Handle Extender" - an attachment
   "The Practice Lobber" - a lever       to the foot-rest lever on a
   that, when stepped on, lifts a        reclining chair, so elderly or
   tennis ball into the air, so it       disabled people can reach it.
   can be hit with a bat.

   Christian Chandler, sixth grade       Daniel Whitten, sixth grade
   Bob Martinez Middle School,           Troy Christian School, Troy, Ohio
   Lutz, Fla.                            "The Handy Lid Opener" - a handle
   "Soft Toss Machine" - a plunger push  and funnel with rubber epoxy inside
   launches baseballs inside a pipe,     make it easier "to break the seal
   onto tennis netting, up to the        of and open new lids."

   Caden Zach, sixth grade               Mitchell Quinn, eighth grade
   St. Francis School, Humphrey, Neb.    Berean Home School, Silverton, Ore.
   "Deluxe Marshmallow Rotisserie" -     "Nutcracker" - a box with a wedge
   fishing rod with a rotating plate     inside holds and cracks open two
   on the reel and roasting sticks       nuts in a "controlled" way,
   on the end.                           "preventing pinching fingers."

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 . Information also is available at NSTA's Web site, .

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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