Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Join the Design Squad for the 2010 Trash to Treasure Competition!

Parents and teachers, here’s a really cool contest for kids! In celebration of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, Design Squad (PBS’s award-winning series) is launching the nationwide 2010 Trash to Treasure competition on April 5th at Following the success of last year’s inaugural Trash to Treasure contest, kids across the country, ages 5-19, are once again challenged to recycle, reuse and re-engineer everyday materials into new inventions. Three young innovators will win a trip to Boston to see their designs built and have the process chronicled for an upcoming episode of the engineering TV series.

The invention should fit within one of the three categories: move things or people (Mobility), protect the environment (Environmental), or be used for indoor or outdoor play (Play). The invention also needs to be made of at least two repurposed materials (such as fabric, paper, plastic, small electronics, wheels, clamps, springs, batteries, hardware, wood, bike parts, string, rubber bands, cardboard, kitchen gadgets, etc.). Kids will be given online tools to sketch out their ideas or upload a photo. (Kids don’t need to actually build their invention in order to enter.)

Check out this awesome video of last year’s winner, Max Wallack, 13, who invented the “Home Dome,” a temporary shelter for homeless people and disaster victims. (Email subscribers may need to click on the title of this post to access the video on my blog.)

Three winners will be selected from this year’s entrants to go to Boston to work side-by-side with the team at the award-winning global innovation design consultancy Continuum and see their idea come to life. At Continuum, their winning designs will be prototyped, and the process will be chronicled by the team behind Design Squad. Their stories will be shared with a national audience on an upcoming episode of the Design Squad series and website Twenty-five finalists will have their ideas showcased on the series website. The nationwide contest is open for ages 5-19 and will launch online on April 5. Entries will be accepted through September 5, 2010 at

If you know a creative kid or a young inventor, this is a great opportunity for them to help people and/or the environment and achieve great things!


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