Rubber Band Contest winners announced


Lily Traxler and Tyler Shirk, this year's winners of the Rubber Band Contest

Lily Traxler and Tyler Shirk, this year's winners of the Rubber Band Contest

Young inventors stretched their imagination for the 14th Annual Rubber Band Contest! Students in grades 5-8 from around the country learned about the rubber band — one of the many amazing inventions created from a unique class of materials known as polymers.

The contest was hosted by the Akron Global Polymer Academy, the K-12 outreach division of The University of Akron’s School of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering. The challenge was to design and create a working invention/artwork that incorporates at least one rubber band. Students applied science, technology, engineering, art and math concepts to the project, and they had the option of submitting to either the Arts & Leisure or Science & Engineering categories.

To enter the contest, students were required to submit a sketch of the invention, an essay, a photograph of the invention/artwork, along with their entry form. Finalists were asked to mail in an actual working copy of their invention/artwork. Final judging was based on creativity, design, effectiveness, essay, and the integration of rubber bands.

“Every year it is so rewarding to see our finalists’ creativity and hard work on-display,” says Jason Miller, contest coordinator and senior multimedia developer/graphic designer. “Our K-12 outreach team is always wowed by the student’s level of critical thinking and imagination as they seek to find new ways to utilize a simple polymer item that we see all the time—the rubber band. The students have very bright futures ahead of them, and perhaps we’ll even see some of them on campus in a few years.”

Winners were notified on May 25. Congratulations to the following students.


First Place Winner (awarded $300):

Lily Traxler - Grade 6 - North Ridgeville, OH - Playful Kitten Art

Runner-Up (awarded $150):

Sophia Leung - Grade 6 - Palm Harbor, FL - Minds of Teens

Remaining Finalists (each awarded $75):

Marcelo Gonzalez - Grade 7 - Macedonia, OH - The Roo-Inator Power Punch Game

Ava Jackson - Grade 8 - Lititz, PA - Mariposa Garden

Prina Patel - Grade 7 - Mechanicsburg, PA - Unity is our Strength

Sibi Shanmugam - Grade 7 - Mechanicsburg, PA - Medieval Mania


First Place Winner (awarded $300):

Tyler Shirk - Grade 8 - Lititz, PA - The Hitting Pro

Runner-Up (awarded $150):

William Lee - Grade 8 - Lititz, PA - The Wave Energy Converter

Remaining Finalists (each awarded $75):

Colin Choi - Grade 5 - Oviedo, FL - The Vortex Charger

Brooklyn Hatton - Grade 5 - Columbus, IN - The Slip On Ice

Daniel Hertzler - Grade 7 - Mechanicsburg, PA - Pinball Mayhem

James Myers - Grade 7 - Cuyahoga Falls, OH - The Glasses Bed

The 14th Annual Rubber Band Contest was sponsored by the Rubber Division of the American Chemical Society.


Media contact: Cristine Boyd, 330-972-6476 or