Grayson Rosenberger, 15, of Nashville, Tennessee, has been named the grand prize winner in Sealed Air Corporation's first-ever Bubble Wrap® Competition for Young Inventors at a gala dinner in New York City's Rainbow Room in honor of Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day, January 29, 2007. Inspired by his mother, a bilateral amputee, and his parents' work with prosthetic patients in Ghana, Africa, Rosenberger used Bubble Wrap brand cushioning to develop a cost-effective cosmetic skin covering for prosthetic limbs and won a $10,000 savings bond, edging out nearly 800 other contestants in fifth through eighth grades nationwide.
Rosenberger developed his invention, titled "Bubble Wrap® Cosmetic Covering Shell for Artificial Legs in Developing Countries," by using a heat gun to mold Bubble Wrap cushioning around the steel rod of a prosthetic limb to give it muscle-like tone and shape. Rosenberger's invention is able to quickly turn a basic artificial leg into a more lifelike limb so that amputees feel more confident and less self-conscious. In a little over an hour, and for a fraction of the cost, his entry demonstrated how he could create a lightweight prosthetic leg covering that rivaled those costing more than $1,000.
In addition to the savings bond, Rosenberger, along with the competition's other two finalists, won a trip to New York, New York, to celebrate Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day. The second- and third-place winners, who also received $5,000 and $3,000 respectively in savings bonds, are:
Second Place Winner: Megan Guerrero, 13, San Angelo, Texas--"The Empire State Building: A Three-Dimensional Construction Project." A creative work of art and clever architectural puzzle that presents a fun and educational way to learn about one of the world's most famous buildings. This three-dimensional puzzle uses custom-cut pieces of Bubble Wrap cushioning to build a 2.5-foot replica of the Empire State Building.
Third Place Winner: Alex Chalcraft, 13, Gilbert, Arizona--"The Easy Check Chore Chart." A chore chart that embodies the fun of popping Bubble Wrap cushioning while engaging children to stay focused and complete their daily chores. The chart lists a series of weekly tasks and allows children to pop a bubble each time they complete a chore.
"As a company, Sealed Air has always valued and encouraged innovation," said Sealed Air President and CEO William V. Hickey. "Consequently, all of the young inventors who participated in this competition are an inspiration to us. Sealed Air is grateful to have this opportunity to recognize and support the creativity and ingenuity of our three finalists through a competition that celebrates one of our most well-known and trusted brands."
Submissions were judged in coordination with the National Museum of Education, based in Akron, Ohio (www.nmoe.org), and ranked based on several criteria including originality, creativity, usefulness, benefit to society, marketability, feasibility, and overall presentation, according to Sealed Air. Entries received ranged from a Bubble Wrap cushioning-based saddle pad and portable candy packaging to an instrument case and fish tank decor. Students were invited to submit original inventions along with a visual and written description that included the name of the invention, the purpose it serves, how it works, and how the idea was formulated.
Bubble Wrap cushioning was invented in 1960 by the founders of Sealed Air, Elmwood Park, New Jersey, and was originally intended to be used as a type of textured wallpaper. The inventors quickly realized it was actually a superior cushioning material, and Sealed Air is now a global, Fortune 500 company that offers a wide range of packaging solutions, has operations in 51 countries, and has annual sales in excess of $4 billion, according to the company. Sealed Air is widely recognized for its strong commitment to innovation, and continues to be an industry leader in research and development, the company noted. (Photo: Business Wire)
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