36 Children Win Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards

Nearly 9,000 2nd - 8th Graders Submit Invention Ideas; 36 Earn $250, $500 or $5,000 Bonds; Two Will Win More

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

"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

  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

  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

  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 younginventors@nsta.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.

Craftsman® is the most popular tool brand in America and a Sears- exclusive brand.

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