36 Students Win Top Prizes In 2001 Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Program

2nd Through 8th Graders Earn $250, $500 And $5,000 Bonds; 12 Have Chance For More

Edison, Marconi and Bell would be proud. Those famous inventors would appreciate the youthful ideas that 36 prizewinning second through eighth graders submitted to the 2001 Craftsman/National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Young Inventors Awards Program.

Nearly 3,400 children nationwide accepted the challenge to invent a new tool or re-think an existing one. From those entries, which were in two grade categories -- second through fifth and sixth through eighth, three dozen students have been named national finalists, or second- or third-place regional winners.

The program, which currently is in its fifth year, will honor the students with the following awards:

  -- 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 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

"We started the Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Program five years ago to encourage children to get involved in science and to honor their creative ideas," said Bob Vila, popular home-improvement personality and spokesperson for the Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors Awards Program. "This program helps kids identify a problem and design a solution -- skills that science teachers and all educators try to develop in students. Our 36 prizewinning Young Inventors have created tools that are innovative, ingenious and really work!"

  National finalists - second-through-fifth-grade category ($5,000 bond):

  Timothy Kenny, fifth grade
  Bernardsville Middle School, Bernardsville, N.J.
  "Ladder Increaser" - a stepladder with adjustable, extendable back legs
  for uneven surfaces.

  Rachel Kaminsky, fourth grade
  Concord Road Elementary School, Ardsley, N.Y.
  "The Shoe Lace Helper" - uses a swiveling lever, a
  spool rod and clothespins to teach kids to tie their shoes.

  Taylor Drane, fourth grade
  Schwarzkopf School, Lutz, Fla.
  "Water Miser" - an irrigation device that delivers moisture to the
  roots and helps conserve water.

  Kayla Scott, fourth grade
  M. I. Day Elementary School, Minerva, Ohio
  "The Sodium Chloride Slide" - works like "a small elevator"
  to lift up "heavy bags of salt for a water softener."

  Tony Jarecki, fifth grade
  Christ is the Way School, Lindsay, Neb.
  "The Easy Lift Trash Can" - a convenient way
  to remove full trash bags and install new ones.

  Phillip Mitchell, fifth grade
  J. B. Stephens School, Bangs, Texas
  "Easy Trim" - an adjustable tool, "based on ergonomics,"
  makes it easier to groom goats and lambs for livestock shows.

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

  Mitchell Weiss, seventh grade
  Bess & Paul Siegal Hebrew Academy, Bloomfield, Conn.
  "Pedal Powered Lawn Mower" - combines a small bicycle with a push mower,
  to cut the grass.

  Matthew Marchand, seventh grade
  Frontier Regional School, S. Deerfield, Mass.
  "The Mail-O-Matic" - a box on rollers inside a mailbox
  brings the mail forward when the door is opened.

  James Antoine, seventh grade
  Ridgeway Middle School, Memphis, Tenn.
  "The Tent Peg Puller" - uses a support shaft, lever
  and cable loop to help campers pull up tent pegs.

  Carly Monfort, sixth grade
  Dublin Davis Middle School, Dublin, Ohio
  "Multi-Purpose Jig" - "to hold small objects and free up
  hands" when doing soldering, arts and crafts, and more.

  Andrew Lofgren, eighth grade
  Logos Christian School, Haviland, Kan.
  "Roofer's Helper" - "a more efficient way to pull
  out roofing nails when tearing off old shingles."

  Jonathan Edwards, sixth grade
  Panhandle Junior High School, Panhandle, Texas
  "Step Ramp" - steps that easily convert into a ramp
  for pushing wheelchairs or moving heavy objects.

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

  Rob Kastner, fourth grade
  Liberty Corner School, Basking Ridge, N.J.
  "Improved Residential Mailbox Flag" - uses an
  automatic clip device to raise and lower the flag.

  Brendan Dwyer, fourth grade
  Ocean Avenue School, Northport, N.Y.
  "The Bulb Blaster" - enables people to dig and
  plant from a standing position, not on their knees.

  Lee Friedkin, fifth grade
  Parkview Baptist School, Baton Rouge, La.
  "Sno-Scooter" - converts a "land scooter" into
  one that "can be used on the snow."

  Tessa DiGiacomo, fifth grade
  M. I. Day Elementary School, Minerva, Ohio
  "Rescue Tube" - telescopes out onto the ice, bringing
  equipment to save someone who's broken through it.

  Samuel Wolock, fifth grade
  Mission Trail Elementary School, Leawood, Kan.
  "Easy Reach Coat Rack" - a pulley device raises and lowers a
  coat rack to assist small children.

  Jimmy Zimmermann, fifth grade
  Memorial Drive Elementary School, Houston, Texas
  "Slingo 2001" - an invention designed to "throw
  the ball endlessly for a dog to retrieve."

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

  Brendan Lawson, sixth grade
  Bernardsville Middle School, Bernardsville, N. J.
  "The Cricket Scoop" - helps reptile owners pick up crickets without
  touching them.

  Thomas Kellett, sixth grade
  Unqua School, Massapequa, N.Y.
  "The Button Helper" -  "to aid people with one hand
  or ... limited use of fingers to button their shirt."

  William Junkin, sixth grade
  Norwood School, Bethesda, Md.
  "Gentleman John" - "when you flush, the seat or
  seats automatically go down."

  Scott Houser, eighth grade
  Pettisville Junior High School, Pettisville, Ohio
  "E-Z Shovel" - a swivel wheel on the back of a shovel
  enables people to push dirt and snow easily.

  Courtney Travers, eighth grade
  The Willows Academy, Des Plaines, Ill.
  "No-Dough" - helps "scrape out thick dough
  from beaters when you are cooking."

  Caitlin Vaughan, sixth grade
  Mustang North Middle School, Yukon, Okla.
  "Super Duper Garden Tool" - a hand- or foot-operated
  device to help gardeners dig holes for planting flowers.

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

  Peter Hosinski, fourth grade
  Davenport School, Stamford, Conn.
  "Bendable Broom" - a flexible middle enables the
  broom "to get those hard to reach places."

  Sasha Seroy, fifth grade
  PS 77 - NYC Laboratory School, New York, N.Y.
  "The Unlocker" - combines a Shaker peg, plastic comb,
  paperclip and more "to help people open boxes."

  Blaine Tooley, fourth grade
  Country Day School, Baton Rouge, La.
  "Tire Washer 900" - "attaches to any size tire and scrubs the hubcaps."

  Jordan Cross, fourth grade
  M. I. Day Elementary School, Minerva, Ohio
  "Five Day Cat Feeder" - a multi-level device stores
  pre-measured amounts "to feed a cat for five days."

  Peter Badovinac, fifth grade
  Thomas Jefferson School, Hoffman Estates, Ill.
  "Wastenopaste" - a dispenser that conserves toothpaste and
  eliminates messy tubes.

  Amanda Crowe, fifth grade
  Memorial Drive Elementary School, Houston, Texas
  "Skimmer Hand" - picks up "the skimmer basket"
  in the pool, "without getting your hands in the water."

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

  Christopher Cushman, eighth grade
  Litchfield School, Litchfield, N.H.
  "The Ultimate Mailbox" - adjustable-height mailbox flexes if hit;
  also, the flag rises when the door opens.

  Steven DiBenedetto, sixth grade
  Unqua School, Massapequa, N.Y.
  "Grocery Helper" - a wheeled cart with four hooks
  that can carry 12 grocery bags into the house.

  Kady Davis, sixth grade
  All Saints School, Manassas, Va.
  "Wrenchdriver" - designed "to combine two tools into one" --
  a "flathead" screwdriver and a wrench.

  Stephanie Mote, sixth grade
  Old Trail School, Bath, Ohio
  "The Limeade/Lemonade/Orange Juice Maker" -
  squeezes, collects, strains and pours fruit juice.

  James Kuo, sixth grade
  Thomas Jefferson School, Hoffman Estates, Ill.
  "Supported Shovel" - a hollow "elliptical lump" in the
  shovel spade adds more leverage and space.

  Cassidy Gearhart, sixth grade
  Centennial Middle School, Boulder, Colo.
  "Plow Shovel" - pushes snow to either side of the
  V-shaped shovel blade; also, has a push-button "salter."

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. There also is information at NSTA's Web site at http://www.nsta.org/programs/craftsman.htm .

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 top-selling brand of tools and lawn and garden equipment in the United States. 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 leading U.S. retailer of apparel, home and automotive products and services, with annual revenue of more than $40 billion. The company serves families throughout the country through approximately 860 department stores, approximately 2,100 specialized retail locations, and a variety of online offerings accessible through the company's Web site, http://www.sears.com/ .


SOURCE: Sears, Roebuck and Co.

Contact: Carol Simantz, 847-692-6311, or Melissa Winchester,
847-286-5708, both for Sears, Roebuck and Co.

Website: http://www.nsta.org/programs/craftsman.htm

Website: http://www.sears.com/

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