Solid Waste & Recycling


PBS television show announces environment contest

The producers of the hit PBS Kids reality competition show Design Squad recently announced the nationwide la...

The producers of the hit PBS Kids reality competition show Design Squad recently announced the nationwide launch of their 2010 Trash to Treasure contest.

Following the success of 2009’s inaugural Trash to Treasure contest, children and adolescents from across the U.S. ages five to 19 are once again challenged by the PBS Emmy and Peabody Award-winning series to recycle, reuse and
re-engineer everyday materials into new inventions.

Three young innovators will win a trip to Boston to see their designs built and have the process chronicled for an upcoming episode of the engineering television series.

“This is an opportunity for kids to give a second life to an object they or their household would have otherwise discarded,” says Design Squad executive producer Marisa Wolsky. “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)

-encourage 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.)

Entrants will be given online tools to either upload photos of their ideas or sketch them out.

Applicants are not required to build their invention.

Last year’s winner, 13-year old Max Wallack, inventor of the “Home Dome”–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.

At Continuum, their winning designs will be prototyped and the process will be chronicled by the team behind Design Squad. Their stories will be shared with a national audience on an upcoming episode of the Design Squad.

The nationwide contest kicks off April 5, 2010 and entries will be accepted until September 5, 2010 at

The contest is designed to celebrate Earth Day, which is in its 40th year of spreading awareness and appreciation of the planet. Earth Day is April 22, 2010.


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