Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Go to 12 Top Students

Bob Vila Presents Prizes Monday, October 21, at Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago; Children Win $5,000 to $10,000 U.S. Savings Bonds

Extraordinary tools that make ordinary tasks easier have won top prizes for 12 creative students in the 2002 Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Program, which is sponsored by Sears Craftsman® tools and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA).

The 12 children -- two national winners and 10 national finalists -- will be honored (on Monday, October 21,) at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, which opened in 1933 and was inspired by former Sears CEO Julius Rosenwald. The students' inventions were selected from more than 4,300 entries submitted by second through eighth graders across the country. The prizewinners have created tools to help people carry grocery bags, open doors, use crutches, rake the yard, feed cows, stabilize a ladder, remove a pan from the oven, ride or store a scooter, moisten the soil for gardening and repair a twisted warehouse rack.

"We asked the Young Inventors to create a tool that solves a problem, does useful work and is powered by part of the human body - such as a hand, arm or leg," said Bob Vila, spokesperson for the Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Program. "It's especially appropriate for us to celebrate their accomplishments this year, because it's the 75th anniversary of the Craftsman tool brand, which is well-known for its quality innovations."

(On October 21 at 11 a.m.,) the 12 students will demonstrate their tools at an Inventors Showcase in the west pavilion of the museum. At 12 noon, there will be an awards presentation for the children, each of whom has won a $5,000 U.S. savings bond.

The following two national winners, selected from the group of 12 students, each will be given an additional $5,000 savings bond:

   -- The national winner in the second-through-fifth-grade category:
      Kayleigh Inkley, who created "Parcel Pal," a padded, "C"-shaped hanger
      that makes it easier to hold full, plastic shopping bags.  Kayleigh
      submitted her idea when she was a fifth grader at Assumption School in
      Wood Ridge, N.J.  (Kayleigh now lives in Australia, but will attend
      the awards ceremony in Chicago.)

   -- The national winner in the sixth-through-eighth-grade category:
      Ashton Russell, who created "Dirt Moist Fork," which enables water to
      run down a pitchfork to help dampen and loosen soil for gardening, is
      the national winner in the sixth-through-eighth-grade category.
      He was a sixth grader at Marsalis Elementary School in Dallas, Texas,
      when he submitted his idea.

Students being honored as national finalists in the second-through-fifth- grade category include:

   -- Alison Sapack, fourth grade, Longmeadow Elementary School, Middlebury,
      "No Turn Door Knob Opener" -- a lever attached to a doorknob opens the
      door with the push of an arm.

   -- Jake Klimek, fifth grade, Central School, Huntsville, Ala.
      "G.R.A.S.P.P. Device" -- helps to "grasp remove and safely place (a)
      pan" being taken from an oven.

   -- Jenna Ross, fourth grade, Schwarzkoff School, Sterling Heights, Mich.
      "The Handi-Rake" -- an "S"-curved rake lifts and moves on wheels,
      helping those with "trouble using one of their arms."

   -- Tessa Marek, fourth grade, Thomas Arnold Elementary School, Salado,
      "The Easy Crutches" -- a lever and pedal attached to a crutch provide
      a resting place for an injured foot or leg.

   -- Christian Conley, third grade, Buena Vista Elementary School,
      Palmdale, Calif.
      "Scooter Stand" -- shelf brackets screwed into a wooden circle enable
      a scooter to stand on its own.

Students being honored as national finalists in the sixth-through-eighth- grade category include:

   -- Lisa Tripodi, seventh grade, Torrington Middle School, Torrington,
      "Step on Foot Opener" -- a ball placed over a doorknob and attached to
      a rod enables a foot to open a door.

   -- Michael Kitlas, sixth grade, Bernardsville Middle School,
      Bernardsville, N.J.
      "Razor TT" -- non-rusting wire and non-slip tape provide traction for
      a scooter on snow and ice.

   -- Trey (T.J.) Wiler, sixth grade, Windermere Prep School, Windermere,
      "Spyder Legs" -- fold-down attachments to a ladder provide stability,
      especially on uneven surfaces.

   -- Justin Riebeling, sixth grade, Millstadt Consolidated School,
      Millstadt, Ill.
      "Speed Grain Cart" -- wooden walls and a movable chute added to a
      "kid's wagon," help load, carry and dispense grain to feed cows and
      other animals.

   -- Jacob Hoj, seventh grade, Wasatch Junior High School, Salt Lake City,
      "Column Repair Lever Tool" -- used for "minor repairs on twisted steel
      rack (warehouse) columns ... damaged by forklifts."

"The Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Program can be a powerful learning experience because it strengthens students' problem-solving skills, which are the same skills scientists use every day," said Carolyn Randolph, president of the National Science Teachers Association. "It also helps them discover the science behind how tools work, something they may not have thought about before."

The Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Program, now beginning its seventh year in classrooms across America, provides a curriculum to help teachers encourage their students to use science and technology, along with creativity, imagination and mechanical ability, to invent or re-think a tool. Through hands-on exploration, students discover key principles of science, strengthen their problem-solving skills and learn to develop practical solutions to everyday problems.

Information about the Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Program is available by writing to Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards, c/o National Science Teachers Association, 1840 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22201-3000; by calling toll-free 1-888-494-4994; or via e-mail, at

Information also is available at the 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 53,000 includes science teachers and supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in science education.

Craftsman is the U.S. brand that consumers ranked No. 1 for quality, of any kind of product, ahead of Waterford crystal and Rolls-Royce motor cars (per a 2001 EquiTrend(SM) study by Harris Interactive). Craftsman opens more garage doors, mows more lawns, fills more tool boxes, and organizes, stores and protects more tools than any other brand in America.

Sears, Roebuck and Co. is a broadline retailer with significant service and credit businesses. In 2001, the company's annual revenue was more than $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 site, . In June 2002, Sears acquired Lands' End, a direct merchant of traditionally styled, classic Lands' End clothing offered to customers around the world through regular mailings of its specialty catalogs and online at .

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SOURCE: Sears, Roebuck and Co.

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

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