Design Squad, the Intel Foundation, and BKFK Announce the Grand Prize Winner of the National "Trash to Treasure" Challenge

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Max Wallack, 12, of Natick, MA nabs $10,000, provided by the Intel Foundation, for his "Home Dome" invention, in the Trash to Treasure Challenge.

We believe that young people are the key to solving global challenges and

PBS's award-winning TV show Design Squad, the Intel Foundation, and By Kids For Kids Co. (BKFK), are pleased to announce the Grand Prize winner of the national Design Squad "Trash to Treasure" contest. Max Wallack of Natick, MA took top honors for his "Home Dome" innovation, which is made primarily from discarded plastic bags, and seeks to provide temporary housing for those in need of shelter, while simultaneously addressing the problem of expanding landfills.

"Winning 'Trash to Treasure' with my 'Home Dome' design is especially fulfilling because I have wanted to invent something to help the homeless ever since a visit to Chicago six years ago," said Max Wallack, 12. "I am also thrilled about receiving the generous prizes (from the Intel Foundation). Both the money and the laptop will help me in my education, and as I work to develop my next project."

Max's creation was selected as the winner out of more than 1,000 contest submissions by a contingent of VIP judges representing companies committed to innovation and design, including the Ford Motor Company, Wonka, Oreck, American Express, Time For Kids, Atlas Devices, Covidien, Continuum, Targus, and Unilever.

In addition to the $10,000 prize furnished by the Intel Foundation, Max will visit the development lab at Continuum, an award-winning international design and innovation consultancy, where he will see a prototype of his "Home Dome" being built. Max and the contest's four other finalists will each receive a brand-new laptop computer powered by Intel technology.

"Inspiring the next generation of innovators is at the core of Intel's long standing commitment to education," said Brenda Musilli, President of the Intel Foundation. "We believe that young people are the key to solving global challenges and "Max's 'Home Dome' truly embodies the spirit of innovation and demonstrates how engineering can change the world."

The "Trash to Treasure" contest launched in April 2008 and challenged America's youth to design entirely new products out of discarded items and materials. The entries had to move things or people, protect the environment, or be played with inside or outdoors.

Nate Ball, Design Squad host and fellow inventor, said, "It's no surprise that the 'Home Dome' took first place in the contest. Engineering is about helping people, and Max's out-of-the-box idea does that in two ways: It offers a way to provide shelter to those in need, and presents a creative option for protecting our environment."

Norman Goldstein, Founder and CEO of BKFK, commented, "I would like to congratulate Max on his thoughtful and timely invention. It's easy to forget the grim reality that not everyone has access to a roof over their head. The Home Dome elevates consciousness about our very human need for shelter, resulting in a real and implementable product that can provide a feasible solution to those in need."

Read on to learn more about other contestants and their "Trash to Treasure" inventions, then visit the Design Squad website at to learn more about the show that inspired the contest.

About Design Squad on PBS
Design Squad is a reality competition show aimed at kids and people of all ages who like reality or how-to television. Its goal is to get viewers excited about engineering and the design process. Over the 13 episodes, eight high school contestants tackle engineering challenges for real world clients--from creating cardboard furniture projects for IKEA to designing a gravity bike (no pedals or cranks!) for Extreme Game champion Tom Whalen. The new season of Design Squad premieres on PBS in April 2008. In the final episode, the top two scorers battle for the Grand Prize--a $10,000 college scholarship from the Intel Foundation. The Design Squad web site goes "behind the scenes" with cast interviews, photos, outtakes, and the inside scoop on each Design Squad challenge. Online, visitors may watch full-length streams of Design Squad episodes, share their thoughts, and learn more about the role of engineers in society via

Design Squad is produced by WGBH Boston. Major funding for Design Squad is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Intel Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying, United Engineering Foundation (ASCE, ASME, AIChE, IEEE, AIME), Noyce Foundation, Northrop Grumman, the IEEE, and the Intel Corporation.

About the Intel Foundation
Intel Foundation has been developing and funding educational and charitable programs since 1989. Its mission is to advance science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education to fuel tomorrow's innovators, with a particular focus on inspiring women and under-represented minorities to be full participants in these fields. The Foundation, funded solely by donations from Intel Corporation, supports Intel employee volunteerism and philanthropy as part of Intel's efforts to be a good corporate citizen both locally and globally.

About By Kids For Kids Co.
By Kids for Kids® (BKFK®) is a youth marketing and media company partnering with the world's leading corporations to provide a platform to foster, share, showcase, and commercialize youth innovation and entrepreneurship. Their mission is to inspire, motivate and stimulate the innovative spirit within all young people.

The closely held Stamford, CT-based Corporation has been dedicated to making youth ideas a reality since 2003. Through its website ( and its social community (Idea Locker™), online competitions, TV show (Think Big™), Magazine (Possible™), press, and education outreach, the company engages youth in the US and around the world. BKFK® youth-created products are available nationally and serve as a testament to the power of youth innovation and social entrepreneurship. Learn more:

For BKFK: John Forrester (323) 702-3684 media at bkfk dot com
For WGBH: Kathryn Hathaway (617) 300-5305 kathryn_hathaway at wgbh dot org
Nicole Siswick (617) 300-5334 nicole_siswick at wgbh dot org

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