Thirteen-Year-Old Matthew Huber Awarded $10,000 in Fourth Annual Bubble Wrap® Competition for Young Inventors
ELMWOOD PARK, N.J. May 22, 2010 – Matthew Huber, a 13-year-old St. Peter, MN student, was named the grand prize winner in the Fourth Annual Bubble Wrap® Competition for Young Inventors, a nationwide competition open to students in grades five through eight. Judges from Sealed Air Corporation (NYSE:SEE), the creator of Bubble Wrap® brand cushioning, chose Huber from more than 2,500 entries from 40 states.
Huber was awarded a $10,000 grand prize savings bond for his invention, “Petri Bubbles,” a scientific tool designed as an inexpensive alternative to Petri dishes.
The inspiration for Huber's winning invention came after the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti. The invention turns the large bubbles in Bubble Wrap® brand cushioning into a small sterile Petri dish that can be used in a variety of medical or scientific tests in remote areas far from hospitals or labs, such as tests required to verify the safety of drinking water, etc.
“Matthew’s invention exemplifies what the Bubble Wrap® Competition for Young Inventors is all about,” said William V. Hickey,President and Chief Executive Officer, Sealed Air. “Matthew showed tremendous ingenuity to create an invention that could help a lot of people.”
At the Bubble Wrap® Awards Ceremony on Saturday, May 22, Sealed Air also announced the second and third place winners of the competition:
- Second Place Winner ($5,000 U.S. Savings Bond): Jared Mann, 13, Christiansburg, VA – “Fridge Guard” – A curtain designed to help any ordinary refrigerator become more energy efficient.
- Third Place Winner ($3,000 U.S. Savings Bond): MaryAnn Bulawa, 14, Ava, NY – “Smart Toilet” – A device that attaches to a toilet for conservation of energy and water.
“We received thousands of intriguing and creative inventions in this year’s competition,” said Hickey. “In our opinion all of them are winners.”
Each of the finalists was required to build and deliver full-scale working versions of their inventions to be reviewed by a panel of judges. The three finalists and a family member were flown to New York City for a chance to win the grand prize. In addition to the grand prize savings bond, Matthew Huber’s school, St. Peter High School, receive a $5,000 prize. In addition, the teacher/mentor of each finalist will receive a $500 gift card.
The Bubble Wrap® Competition for Young Inventors encourages students to demonstrate their creativity and ingenuity by designing an invention that incorporates the use of Bubble Wrap® brand cushioning. Students were invited to submit original inventions along with a visual and written description that included the name of the invention, the purpose it serves, how it works and how the idea was formulated.
The competition is administered in conjunction with the National Museum of Education and all submitted entries were judged based on their originality, creativity and practicality, as well as their benefit to society, marketability and overall presentation. This year’s competition attracted thousands of entries from all across the U.S., with entries that included everything from a speaker system, to an alarm system alternative, to a game that helps children learn to spell and construct sentences. You can read more about the 2010 and previous Competition winners at www.bubblewrapcompetition.com.
Despite the attempts of imitators, there is only one Bubble Wrap® brand which has transcended its intended use of protecting valuables to become a “pop” culture phenomenon, celebrating its 50th birthday this year. Bubble Wrap® cushioning is most recognized for the satisfying release and gleeful joy that comes with the popping of each plastic cell. In addition, Bubble Wrap®cushioning has been used as a medium for creating works of art, as a fashion statement and as a central prop piece to movies and commercials.
Bubble Wrap® cushioning has inspired users to come up with hundreds of different uses. Beyond its “pop” appeal, Bubble Wrap®cushioning has also helped spur the growth of parent company Sealed Air, which today operates in 51 countries and has annual revenue in excess of $4 billion.
About Sealed Air
For fifty years, Sealed Air has been a leading global innovator and manufacturer of a wide range of packaging and performance-based materials and equipment systems that now serve an array of food, industrial, medical, and consumer applications. Operating in 51 countries, Sealed Air's international reach generated revenue of $4.2 billion in 2009. With widely recognized brands such as Bubble Wrap® brand cushioning, Jiffy® protective mailers, Instapak® foam-in-place systems and Cryovac®packaging technology, Sealed Air continues to identify new trends, foster new markets, and deliver innovative solutions to its customers. For more information about Sealed Air, please visit the Company's web site at www.sealedair.com.