Contest challenges students to stretch their imaginations


The search is on for America's next great inventor. The Akron Global Polymer Academy at The University of Akron calls for entries for its fourth annual Rubber Band Contest for Young Inventors.
Students across the country in grades five through eight are challenged to demonstrate their creativity and ingenuity by crafting inventions incorporating rubber bands.
This year's contest features two divisions: Arts/Leisure and Science/Engineering. Students will be judged on creativity/originality, effectiveness/usefulness, design/execution, essay and integration of rubber bands.
The first-place winner in each division will receive a $5,000 savings bond and the runner-up in each division will receive a $1,000 savings bond. The first-place winner and runner-up in each division will be announced on May 25.
The top four semifinalists in each division not selected as finalists will each receive a $50 gift card. The top four schools with the most entries will each receive a $250 donation.
A Teacher Competition, new to the contest this year, is open to any 2011-12 fifth- through eighth-grade instructor. The top three teachers who submit the best original classroom lesson plans that incorporate the Rubber Band Contest will receive $250 and a collection of classroom science materials.
Last year's winners were Lexia Forester of Sullivan, Mo., and Emily Pattie of Ravenna. Forester placed first in the contest's Science and Engineering Division with her Exa-Stretch lower arm exercise aid and Pattie won the contest's Arts and Leisure Division with her Rubber Sunset three-dimensional nightlight.
To enter, submit a completed entry form; a sketch of the invention; and an essay of 1,000 words or less explaining the invention's purpose, how it works, how the idea was created, and how it makes everyday life easier or more enjoyable for its users. The deadline for entries is April 2. Complete contest entry rules and details, including those about the teacher competition, are available at the RubberBandContest online or from The Akron Global Polymer Academy at 330-972-8178 or

About the Akron Global Polymer Academy

The Akron Global Polymer Academy is the educational outreach arm for the UA College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering. The AGPA creates and disseminates knowledge about polymer science, polymer engineering, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education through face-to-face teacher workshops, tours and distributive education ventures.

About The University of Akron

The University of Akron is the public research university for Northeast Ohio. The Princeton Review listed UA among the “Best in the Midwest” in its 2010 edition of Best Colleges: Region-by-Region. Nearly 30,000 students are enrolled in UA’s 300 associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and law degree programs and 100 certificate programs at sites in Summit, Wayne, Medina and Holmes counties. For more information, visit

Media contacts: Andrea Ehasz,, or Denise Henry, 330-972-6477 or