AKRON (Feb. 5, 2009)—Three finalists have been selected in a contest for elementary school children to invent devices based on rubber bands.
Max Aifer, a seventh-grader from Arlington, Va.; Jared Mann, a sixth-grader from Christiansburg, Va.; and Grant Neil, an eighth-grader from Kirkland, Wash., were chosen from hundred of applicants in the Rubber Band Contest for Young Inventors. Savings bonds of $10,000, $5,000 and $2,500 go to the winners.
Aifer invented “Plant Sitter,” a device that waters houseplants while owners are away. Mann invented “The Power Tree,” a mechanism that uses wind power to move magnets through wire coils to generate inexpensive electricity. Neil invented “The Rip Band,” which removes labels from food cans.
Alliance Rubber Co. of Hot Springs, Ark., is sponsoring the competition.
The contest is hosted by the ACS Rubber Division, the University of Akron and UA's Global Polymer Academy, and administered by the National Museum of Education.
The contest commemorates the Rubber Division's 100th anniversary and the 100th anniversary of the world's first rubber chemistry course, at UA predecessor Buchtel College.