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12-year old Max Wallack, who lives in Natick, Massachusetts, has been inventing prize-winning products since he was six years old. This week, the ninth-grader did it again by winning the Trash To Treasure competition, with his amazing Home Dome - a shelter made entirely from trash.
The nationwide contest, required kids between the ages of 12-18 years, to create something useful from trash. Sponsored by PBS reality show Design Squad, The Intel Foundation and By Kids for Kids Company, it attracted over 1,000 entries.
Max's winning invention is a round shelter, similar to a Mongolian Yurt (see pic). He constructed his model by first creating a wire frame, which he then stuffed with plastic bags and plastic-foam packing peanuts. The end result was a cheap, easy to assemble, waterproof shelter made from items that are, the most difficult to get rid of, from landfills.
Max envisions that Home Dome will be useful for not only homeless people, but also for refugees and people looking for somewhere to stay, following natural disasters.
For his brilliant idea, Max received $10,000 USD, a brand new laptop and a trip to Boston to accept the prize.
Max's other prizewinning inventions, all inspired by his grandmother and great-grandmother, include a Great-Granny Booster Step, used to help elderly people get into cars that are higher above the ground and a cane with a built in seat - for them to rest on, while they wait in lines or for public transit.
Other cool inventions that made it to the finals of the contest, included an eco-friendly clog drainer, a gardening wagon, a contraption that harnesses energy from rainwater, and a way for factories to reduce the energy used in manufacturing cardboard.
As for Max, he is not resting on his laurels. He is already working on inventions for five other contests - and he won't reveal what they are. Stay tuned for more news from this little genius inventor!