A Revere Middle School student is showing off her science stuff -- and winning the National Rubber Band contest at the University of Akron.
Halie Nitzche work is not only a piece of rubber band art, it's also an -- air freshener. Special beads inside the rubber band, plaster and newspaper invention can be swapped out for a fresher scent in the home, or business, and that was enough to get the judge's sniff of approval. A Michigan fifth grader took second place with a rubber-band inspired piano sheet music turner. Top winners get five grand.
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(University of Akron) An air freshener made mostly of rubber bands—the brainchild of a Richfield seventh-grader—proves once again that Akron is home to nationally renowned innovators inspired by rubber.
Halie Nitzche of Revere Middle School in Richfield, placed first in the National Rubber Band Contest for Young Inventors’ arts and leisure division. The contest, presented by the Akron Global Polymer Academy (AGPA) of The University of Akron, drew nearly 400 middle school student entrants from 17 states. Winners were announced today.
Students competed in arts and leisure and science and engineering divisions. Nitzche’s invention — a home accent piece — incorporates pipe, plaster, newspaper and rubber bands, and doubles as an air freshener. Air-freshening beads stay in the tree’s pipe trunk and can be replaced as necessary. Robert Keller, a fifth-grader from Canton, Mich., placed first in the contest’s science and engineering division with his Piano Page Turner. The creation allows musicians to turn music pages by stepping on a binder clip attached to a wooden block that causes a chain reaction controlled by a rubber band.
Dr. Carin Helfer, assistant director of AGPA Science Education Outreach at UA, says students with science and engineering entries “were challenged to use the elastic properties of the rubber band in the function of their inventions, and the winners did just that.”
Winners from each division will receive $5,000 paper savings bonds. Runners-up, Grace Murphy of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Mackenzie Steele of Kaysville, Utah, each will receive a $1,000 paper savings bond for their inventions. The remaining finalists will receive $50 gift cards.
The Rubber Band Contest is hosted by the AGPA at UA and is sponsored by the University and the Rubber Division of the American Chemical Society, all of which are based in Akron.