There's a really cool contest going on now for students grades 5 through 8, challenging them to invent something with one or more rubber bands. It's the first of its kind, according to the sponsors, and just thinking about using a rubber band in something totally new has got to be a stretch.
The First Ever Rubber Band Contest for Young Inventors is being sponsored by the Alliance Rubber Company, the Rubber Division of the American Chemical Society, the Akron Global Polymer Academy, and the University of Akron. Incidentally, Akron, Ohio used to be the tire and rubber capital of the world. It doesn't hold that title any longer, but Akron has a burgeoning research and development sector.
The rules call for all students to invent their own device or product with the rubber band or bands as the central component. Students must supply a sketch of their invention and a 1,000 word essay explaining the invention, its use, need or benefit to society, and how he or she came up with the invention. This information and material must be submitted to the context administrators before November 14, 2008.
I am most excited about this contest because it does not require the inventors to sign away their rights to their inventions, as many student contests do. And the prizes are sizable: $10,000 savings bond to first place winner, and $5,000 savings bonds to the second and third place winners, plus cash awards to other finalists and awards for teachers too.
This contest should be a lot of fun for students, even if they never submit their inventions. It's just a great way to stretch their minds!
Here is a page that will link you to all the contest rules, entry form, and the super resources the contest offers to teachers! Rubberband Contest For Young Inventors.
Rubberband Contest For Young Inventors, BNET Via Business Opportunities Weblog.