Tucker Haas, an eleven-year-old, home-schooled student from Charlotte, North Carolina has been named the Grand Prize Winner in the third annual Bubble Wrap(R) Competition for Young Inventors.
Sealed Air Corporation the creator of Bubble Wrap(R) brand cushioning, made the announcement to kick off today's nationwide celebration of the ninth annual Bubble Wrap(R) Appreciation Day, a special day commemorating America's favorite packaging material.
Haas' invention, entitled "My Personal Swing Thing," is a swing specially designed for children with movement disorders, providing adjustable back and neck support using different amounts of Bubble Wrap(R) brand cushioning. Haas competed against 2,200 entries from students around the country, ultimately winning the top prize and a $10,000 U.S. Savings Bond for his invention.
The inspiration for Haas' winning invention came from his younger sister, Lexi who has cerebral palsy. Haas noted in his submission essay that during family park outings, he was discouraged to find that his sister could not enjoy most of the playground equipment. This led him to devise a portable swing that would provide her with a more cradling enclosure to keep her from falling out, and create inner pockets where different gradations of Bubble Wrap(R) brand cushioning could be added to ensure she had the proper amount of upper back and neck support.
Haas also likely derived inventive inspiration from his older sister, Hannah, whose "Sensory Wallpaper" for children with autism captured the grand prize in last year's competition.
"Sealed Air would like to congratulate Tucker Haas on his prize-winning invention, and commend him for coming up with a creative use for Bubble Wrap(R) packaging material that has the potential to positively impact other people's lives," stated William V. Hickey, Sealed Air's President and Chief Executive Officer.
Sealed Air Corporation also announced the second and third place winners of the competition:
-- Second Place Winner ($5,000 U.S. Savings Bond): Corianne Cha, 13,
North Brunswick, NJ -- "Stroke Rehabilitation Color Chart" -- A chart
that helps stroke survivors gauge their recovering strength and guide
their rehabilitation progress.
-- Third Place Winner ($3,000 U.S. Savings Bond): Nathan Huber, 14, St.
Peter, MN -- "Bubble Learning" -- An interchangeable flash card system
designed to make learning fun for children.
"All three of our finalists have clearly embraced the spirit of ingenuity that is at the heart of this annual competition, and in our eyes their inventions are all winners," added Hickey.
In addition to their savings bonds, the finalists and their families were treated to a trip to New York City where they enjoyed an exclusive tour of Sealed Air's main Bubble Wrap(R) manufacturing plant in Saddle Brook, New Jersey; were honored at special awards dinner celebration at New York's famous Rainbow Room in Rockefeller Center; and enjoyed front row seating at the off-Broadway hit show Blue Man Group.
Source: Sealed Air Corporation