Friday, February 6th, 2009

Pop! Young Inventors Show Creativity with Bubble Wrap

Did you know there was an annual Bubble Wrap® Competition for young inventors? Yes, that Bubble Wrap®. The stuff we all like to pop the little bubbles on to scare the dog, terrorize the cat or just pass the time.

According to the Sealed Air Corporation, manufacturers of the well-known plastic packing material, Bubble Wrap® was invented by engineers Arthur Fielding and Marc Chavannes in a Hawthorne, N.J. garage in 1957 when they were trying to invent a textured plastic wallpaper.

For several years now, the Sealed Air Corporation has staged a serious competition for young inventors to “encourage students in grades 5 to 8 to demonstrate their creativity and ingenuity by creating an invention that incorporates the use of Bubble Wrap® cushioning.” Before you think that this sounds like some sort of goofy science project gone wrong, take a look at the 2009 winners that were announced in January.

The top prize went to a young man named Tucker Haas, a home schooled student from North Carolina who used Bubble Wrap® to make a swing for children with movement disorders that provides adjustable back and neck support. Haas competed against 2,200 entries from students around the country, ultimately winning the top prize and a $10,000 U.S. Savings Bond. The second and third place prizes were awarded to equally impressive grade school age inventors.

If you have a child in this age range who would be interested in the 2010 competition, check out the How to Enter part of the competition’s website.

Congratulations to the winners as well as all of the participants for taking this already useful plastic product and making it even more so.

(If this post gave you the urge to pop some Bubble Wrap®, and you just can’t wait, you can virtually pop some online here.)

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