Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Program Honors Two Top Winners and Ten National Finalists - From 8,000 Entries Nationwide

On Mon., September 22 in Chicago, Bob Vila Presents $10,000 and $5,000 U.S. Savings Bonds

The 2003 Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Program, among the largest invention competitions in the world, is honoring 12 children for the innovative tools they have created. They were selected from more than 8,000 second through eighth graders nationwide who entered the program, which is sponsored by Sears through its Craftsman® tools brand and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). The annual competition, now beginning its eighth year in classrooms across the U.S., invites students to create a new tool or re-think an existing one.

Two national winners (one from the second-through-fifth-grade category and one from the sixth-through-eighth-grade category) and 10 national finalists, from second through eighth grade, will be honored on Mon., September 22, at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, beginning with an "Inventors Showcase" at 11 a.m., followed by an awards presentation at 12 noon, featuring Bob Vila.

"Innovation is the driving force behind great new tools," said Bob Vila, spokesperson for the Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Program. "The 12 top prizewinners in the 2003 Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Program have demonstrated tremendous ingenuity and amazing problem-solving skills -- inventing tools that do useful work yet are simple machines, operated without electricity or a motor."

   The two national winners of a $10,000 U.S. savings bond are:
   --   Max Wallack, second grade, Wayland Academy, Framingham, Mass., for
        his invention:
        "The Great-Granny Booster Step" -- a wooden step and handle to help
        an elderly person enter a minivan.

   --   Chandler Macocha, seventh grade, Oxford Middle School, Oxford,
        Mich., for his invention:
        "Wheelchair Backpack Holder" -- a wheelchair's backpack conveniently
        swivels forward via a lever.

   The 10 national finalists, winners of a $5,000 U.S. savings bond, are:
   --   Robert Gryder, fourth grade, R.S. Payne School, Lynchburg, Va., for
        his invention:
        "One-Armed Docking System" -- a latching device that helps disabled
        people dock a boat -- without tying any knots.

   --   Jordan "Jo Jo" Murphy, fourth grade, Springdale School, Macon, Ga.,
        for her invention:
        "Mobile Ladder" -- wheels on the underside of a ladder make it
        easier to move and, then, to climb.

   --   Chaon Hanson, fifth grade, St. Francis School, Lake Zurich, Ill.,
        for his invention:
        "A-Rest-A-Crutch" -- kickstands and a clip-on seat added to crutches
        to help people to "sit down and rest every once in a while."

   --   Carlos Pena III, fifth grade, Herod School, Houston, Texas, for his
        "A Helping Hand" -- magnetic palm and fingers at the end of an
        antenna retrieve hard-to-reach, metal items.

   --   Betsy Armitage, second grade, Holmes Elementary School, San Diego,
        Calif., for her invention:
        "Fair Share Timer" -- "like a giant egg timer" with five-minutes
        worth of sand, to help kids share toys and more.

   --   Emily Curran, sixth grade, Gallagher Middle School, Smithfield,
        R.I., for her invention:
        "The Adjustable Hanger" -- screws, as well as a large and small rod,
        to help modify a hanger to fit various items.

   --   Jamila Jordan, eighth grade, Alice Deal Junior High School,
        Washington, D.C., for her invention:
        "E-Z Shove" -- "training wheels" added to a curved shovel to make it
        easier to lift and move snow.

   --   Trey (T. J.) Wiler, seventh grade, Windermere Prep School,
        Windermere, Fla., for his invention:
        "Hitch Helper" -- guides a boat trailer to the ball of a hitch while
        protecting the bumper of the car or truck.  (T. J. was a 2002
        national finalist for another invention.)

   --   Cynthia Sung, eighth grade, Duchesne Academy, Houston, Texas, for
        her invention:
        "Open-Door Alarm" -- inserted between a refrigerator's door and
        frame it sounds when the door's left open.

   --   Alexander Toporowicz, eighth grade, Our Lady of Perpetual Help
        School, Scottsdale, Ariz., for his invention:
        "Switch-Bristle-Brush" -- a paintbrush handle that easily switches
        brush heads for different paint colors, bristles and sizes.

"The Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Program provides students with a unique and innovative educational experience. By inventing tools, students get an opportunity to use critical thinking and problem-solving skills, demonstrate creativity while learning how tools work, and employ real science principles," said John Penick, president of the National Science Teachers Association.

Information about the program is available at NSTA's Web site, ; 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 .

Craftsman is the top-selling tool brand in America and a Sears-exclusive brand. 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.

Sears, Roebuck and Co. is a broadline retailer with significant service and credit businesses. In 2002, the company's annual revenue was $41 billion. The company offers its wide range of apparel, home and automotive products and services to families in the U.S. through Sears stores nationwide, including approximately 870 full-line stores. Sears also offers a variety of merchandise and services through its Web sites, and, and a variety of specialty catalogs.

SOURCE: Sears, Roebuck and Co.

CONTACT: Carol Simantz for Sears, Roebuck and Co., +1-847-692-6311

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