Kids can turn trash into treasure and win big

Got a kid who’s a compulsive recycler, or one who’s always coming up with new ways to do things? You should check out the 2008 Trash to Treasure Competition over at By Kids, For Kids.

Co-sponsored by Intel and Design Squad, Trash to Treasure “challenges you to recycle, reuse, and re-engineer everyday materials into out-of-the-box inventions.”

That sounds like plenty of fun to me (and to my never-throw-anything-away offspring), but it gets even better:

One’s trash could be another’s treasure! Use trash to create your treasure and we will reward the best ideas with $10,000, a Dell Laptop, and a trip to Boston to see your design built.

Not bad for a bit of experimentation with garbage, no?

The site is full of guidance for how to get going, too:

Identify Your Idea: The T2T Challenge requires you to find solutions in one of the following 3 areas:
• Mobility – something that moves things or people
• Environment – something that protects the environment
• Play – something kids play with inside or outside
Choose the area that you think you could improve on with an invention

Choose Your Trash & Brainstorm:
• Find out what trash materials you can use for reuse and recycling
• Pick at least 2 discarded materials to develop your invention
• Take the idea that you have identified and brainstorm other solutions with your friends, family and/or mentor

Read the complete rules before entering, of course, but the competition is open to legal residents of the U.S. between the ages of 5 and 19, and entries may be submitted through August 31st, 2008, so there’s still plenty of time to get inventing.

The next time the kids complain that there’s “nothing to do” this summer, you’ll be ready for ‘em.

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