Sponsoring Institution: American Chemical Society

Type: Art Invention Contest

Eligibility: Only full-time students in grades 5-8 for each academic year are eligible for this competition. These pupils must be enrolled in one of the fifty United States or the District of Columbia’s approved public, charter, private, or home schools.

Application Deadline: Open for Entries from October through early March. Finalists announced in April. Winners announced in May

Highlight: Are you interested in the science behind some of the world’s most useful and versatile materials such as rubber? Well, then the Rubberband Contest by the American Chemical Society run through the University of Akron would be perfect for you, allowing you to use the properties of rubber to create amazing inventions, games, artworks, and more! Natural rubber production worldwide in 2020 amounted to almost 13 million metric tons, and with this having increased by 6.8 million metric tons since 2000, there needs to be more understanding of the global dependency on rubber but also the opportunities for invention the rubber industry has to offer. Through this free competition, you will be expected to invent a piece of art that incorporates at least one rubber band in some way, giving you a range of opportunities to expand your interests in polymer science and use this to engineer a creative design. You can also win prizes ranging from $300 to $75, and there’s the opportunity to even win  money for your school, too! For inspiration, see some of the previous winning inventions here. As long as you are a US student in grades 5-8 in an approved school setting (public/private/charter/home), then you are eligible for this rubberband competition and can apply and submit your invention between October and March of each year! A bit nervous? See some interviews with past applicants here. So what’s holding you back, explore something new and see where it can take you! It is said that “invention is the natural outcome of creative thinking” so put your creative thinking cap on and start planning your Rubber Band competition entry today!

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