Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Program Names 36 Winners

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

The 2003 Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Program, among the largest invention competitions in the world, has selected 36 top prizewinners from more than 8,000 second through eighth graders nationwide. The program, now in its seventh year, is sponsored by Sears -- through its Craftsman® tools brand -- and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). The Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Program annually invites children to invent a new tool or re-think an existing one.

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 in September, 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 inspires kids to dream and innovate, while they're creating imaginative, useful tools," said Bob Vila, popular home-improvement expert and spokesperson for the Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Program.

"Children love to devise new ways to accomplish routine tasks and teachers appreciate the opportunity to get students excited about science. That's why we've experienced phenomenal growth in the Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Program -- with nearly twice as many children entering this year than last year," said Dr. Gerry Wheeler, executive director of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA).

The Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Program is available in classrooms across America. The 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.

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):

   Max Wallack, second grade            Robert Gryder, fourth grade
   Wayland Academy, Framingham, Mass.   R.S. Payne School, Lynchburg, Va.
   "The Great-Granny Booster Step" -    "One-Armed Docking System" -
   a wooden step and handle help an     a latching device helps disabled
   elderly person enter a minivan.      people dock a boat -- without tying
                                        any knots.

   Jordan "Jo Jo" Murphy, fourth grade  Chaon Hanson, fifth grade
   Springdale School, Macon, Ga.        St. Francis School, Lake Zurich,
   "Mobile Ladder" - wheels on the      Ill.
   underside of a ladder make it        "A-Rest-A-Crutch" - kickstands and
   easier to move and, then, to climb.  a clip-on seat added to crutches
                                        help people "sit down and rest
                                        every once in a while."

   Carlos Pena III, fifth grade         Betsy Armitage, second grade
   Herod School, Houston, Texas         Holmes Elementary School, San
   "A Helping Hand" - magnetic palm     Diego, Calif.
   and fingers at the end of an         "Fair Share Timer" - "like a giant
   antenna retrieve hard-to-reach,      egg timer" with five-minutes worth
   metal items.                         of sand, to help kids share toys
                                        and more.

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

   Emily Curran, sixth grade            Jamila Jordan, eighth grade
   Gallagher Middle School,             Alice Deal Junior High School,
   Smithfield, R.I.                     Washington, D.C.
   "The Adjustable Hanger" - screws,    "E-Z Shove" - "training wheels"
   as well as a large and small rod,    added to a curved shovel make it
   help modify a hanger to fit various  easier to lift and move snow.

   Trey (T.J.) Wiler, seventh grade     Chandler Macocha, seventh grade
   Windermere Prep School,              Oxford Middle School, Oxford, Mich.
   Windermere, Fla.                     "Wheelchair Backpack Holder" - a
   "Hitch Helper" - guides a boat       wheelchair's backpack conveniently
   trailer to the ball of a hitch       swivels forward via a lever.
   while protecting the bumper of
   the car or truck.
   (T.J. was a 2002 national finalist
   for another invention.)

   Cynthia Sung, eighth grade           Alexander Toporowicz, eighth grade
   Duchesne Academy, Houston, Texas     Our Lady of Perpetual Help School,
   "Open-Door Alarm" - inserted         Scottsdale, Ariz.
   between a refrigerator's door and    "Switch-Bristle-Brush" - a
   frame, it sounds when the door's     paintbrush handle easily switches
   left open.                           brush heads for different paint
                                        colors, bristles and sizes.

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

   Dalton Adams, fourth grade           Ashley Kelsey, second grade
   Rheems Elementary School,            Timber Point Elementary School,
   Rheems, Pa.                          East Islip, N.Y.
   "Snap-a-Flag" - the American flag    "Cookie Holder Deluxe" - a
   rolls up or down, like a shade, to   scissors-like device helps "dunk
   be displayed easily and stored       cookies in milk" so hands aren't
   safely.                              "wet and yucky."

   Alan Ismach, third grade             Reagan Martin, second grade
   Sagamore Hills School, Atlanta, Ga.  W.C. Petty Elementary School,
   "The Climb-up Ladder Chair" - a      Antioch, Ill.
   staircase attached to a chair helps  "The Shower Mover" - a T-shaped
   "my little sister get up into her    pipe, on a straight pipe, slips
   chair."                              over the shower head to move the
                                        water flow easily.

   Garth Gatson, third grade            Ian Murray, third grade
   Center Elementary School,            Holmes Elementary School,
   Center, Mo.                          San Diego, Calif.
   "Flex Crutch" - a hinged crutch      "The Paper Shaper" - a cylinder
   bends so it can fit into a car or    that, with water, turns shredded
   another small space.                 paper into fireplace logs or
                                        garden-mulching discs.

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

   John Kashmanian, sixth grade         Katelyn Lepore, eighth grade
   Gallagher Middle School,             JFK Middle School, Port Jefferson
   Smithfield, R.I.                     Station, N.Y.
   "Kash Klaws Snow Shovel" - a shovel  "Camping Toaster" - an eggbeater,
   with "teeth" lifts ice under snow    modified with a long fork, helps to
   for "a finished job."                toast hot dogs and other food over
                                        a campfire.

   Matthew Clark, eighth grade          David Beresford, seventh grade
   Liberty Middle School, Madison, Ala. Beresford Home School,
   "Barrier" - a handle and hooks on a  Northville, Mich.
   piece of wood carry a skateboard     "Easy Slide Hand Rail" - a "grab
   and keep hands clean.                bar slides up or down a notched
                                        hand-rail," to help the elderly or
                                        impaired climb stairs.

   Jacob LeBouef, sixth grade           Tera Poirier, eighth grade
   Broussard Middle School,             Trinity School, Spokane, Wash.
   Broussard, La.                       "Poirier Board" - a narrow ironing-
   "Convertible Crutch Chair" - a       board attachment pulls out "to make
   crutch quickly converts to a chair   ironing shirtsleeves and pant legs
   "when the user gets tired."          easier."

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

   Elia Pepps, fifth grade              Christy Moore, fourth grade
   Four Corners School,                 Fairfield Elementary School,
   Greenfield, Mass.                    Fairfield, Va.
   "Kwik Brush Wheel Cleaner" - a tool  "Ash Sifter" - sifts ashes from hot
   designed to "brush off the wheels"   coals, so ashes can be removed and
   of a wheelchair.                     hot coals returned to a wood stove.

   Jessica Christianson, fifth grade    Hallie Kuchera, fourth grade
   Summit Hill School, Alpharetta, Ga.  St. Edward School, Waterloo, Iowa
   "Easy Grip Toilet Plunger" - a       "EZ Flip Clip" - "helps you open
   handle affixed to a plunger makes    containers with metal pour spouts"
   it "easy to apply force."            with the help of a lever.

   Genna Guillot, fifth grade           Ainsley Glad, fifth grade
   Parkview Baptist School,             Columbia Elementary School,
   Baton Rouge, La.                     West Jordan, Utah
   "The Dog Cleaning Door" - "a doggie  "The Keasy" - a handle attached to
   door with brush like bristles ...    a key, "at a ninety degree angle"
   on the inside edges."                helps "people with arthritis turn
                                        their key."

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

   Catherine Seibel, sixth grade        Jonathan Jaeger, eighth grade
   Saucon Valley Middle School,         Lake Braddock Secondary School,
   Hellertown, Pa.                      Burke, Va.
   "Computer Helper" - an adjustable    "The WheelChair Advantage" -
   "mouse" holder "to help people       handles on a wheelchair enable the
   with wrist problems."                user to move the chair with a
                                        rowing-type motion.

   Tabor Reins, sixth grade             Jeff Dertinger, seventh grade
   Vickery Creek Middle School,         ISD 206, Alexandria, Minn.
   Cumming, Ga.                         "Lid-up" - levers open and close
   "Super Sit Up Machine" - "holsters"  the lid of a dumpster to "simplify
   attached to a mat help people do     garbage disposal altogether."
   "sit ups or crunches."

   Janina Taylor, eighth grade          Aaron Vanderwal, sixth grade
   Duchesne Academy, Houston, Texas     Brown Junior High School,
   "Auto-Measure" - device in a         Henderson, Nev.
   container "eliminates the need       "The Handy Toilet Seat Handle" - a
   to buy separate measuring cups."     handle on the seat "makes using the
                                        toilet a lot more sanitary and

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.

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

Sears, Roebuck and Co. is a broadline retailer with significant service and credit businesses. In 2002, the company's 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 of Sears, Roebuck and Co., +1-847-692-6311

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