Calling all creative kids and young inventors! Leading up to National Inventors Month this August, PBS KIDS GO!’s Emmy and Peabody Award-winning series Design Squad is challenging kids aged 5-19 to spend their summer vacation recycling, reusing, and re-engineering everyday materials to create the next great green invention.
With the nationwide Trash to Treasure competition, three young innovators will win a trip to Boston to see their designs built and may appear on the Design Squad show and/or website. Entries are due on September 5, 2010. Click here to view the official rules and send in entries.
According to Design Squad executive producer Marisa Wolsky, “This is an opportunity for kids to give a second life to an object they or their household would have otherwise discarded. We expect that this year’s entries will run the gamut, from trying to fill a pressing societal need to offering something whimsical and fun.”
The rules are simple. 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.)
Last Year’s Winner
Max Wallack, 13, inventor of the “Home Dome” designed a temporary shelter for homeless people and disaster victims, gives this advice to this year’s entrants, “Identify a problem and then try to come up with a solution to it. Be prepared to make several attempts at designing before one design jumps out as the right one.
Three winners will be selected from this year’s entrants to come 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. Their stories may be shared with a national audience on an upcoming episode of the Design Squad series and/or on its website. Twenty-five finalists will have their ideas showcased on the series website and will receive a Design Squad t-shirt. The nationwide contest is open for ages 5-19 and launched online on April 5. Entries will be accepted through September 5, 2010. Click here to register.
Design Squad Online
The Design Squad website gets kids into the action with videos, games, and a space to get creative and offers full-length streams of Design Squad episodes in a fullscreen video player. The site also features an online gallery space–allowing visitors to brainstorm and sketch their own design ideas, share their designs with their friends, and see other kids’ designs–and the popular “DESIGNit, BUILDit, FIDGit” game–challenging players to think fast and solve puzzles.