We will be launching the 13th annual Rubber Band Contest a little bit later than we have in previous years. Stay tuned to this website for the official launch, which we are hoping will occur by October 2nd!

2020 Arts & Leisure Division

First Place Winner Arts & Leisure (awarded $600):

Allison Richter – Grade 7 – Ankeny, IA – Elasto-Pop

Excerpts from Allison’s essay: “My invention is called the Elasto-Pop—a game for kids. As the game is played a needle slowly gets closer to bursting a water balloon, which will eventually pop and splash on someone’s head. The point of the game is to avoid getting wet and enjoy soaking your friends instead…The main factor that makes the game fun is the anticipation of the balloon popping on your head at any second. There is also the element of strategy in deciding how many dice you will roll.”

“At the top of the frame, the PVC cap is suspended from four rubber bands…A needle is sticking out of the bottom of the PVC cap. Several inches under the cap is a basket that contains a water balloon. Because of the elastic properties of the rubber bands, the PVC cap will dip if weight is added into it. The person taking their turn under the frame rolls the dice. They can either roll two or four dice. If the person rolls two dice, the number they roll will be how many larger decorative stones are added into the PVC cap. If the person rolls four dice, the number they roll will be how many smaller decorative stones are added to the PVC cap. The rubber bands will stretch to allow the cap to move downwards. Eventually, the balloon will get popped by the needle that is under the cap, resulting in the player below it to become wet.”

Runner-Up Arts & Leisure (awarded $300):

Katherine Young – Grade 6 – North Ridgeville, OH – Bellano

Excerpts from Katherine’s essay: “My artwork is a rubber band piano that I like to call the Bellano. One of the purposes of the Bellano is to share the joy of music with people. The Bellano uses copper pipes cut to certain lengths to make different notes. It also used wood as the base, keys, and body of the Bellano. When you press the keys they hit the copper pipes and make a bell like sound. I also put cotton swabs underneath the keys to prevent the keys from ricochet off the bottom.”

“My Bellano uses rubber bands in many ways. I used the rubber bands to suspend the copper pipes because it is soft and flexible so that it will let vibrations course through it without stopping the sound. I also used rubber bands to hold the keys in place as well as to make the sound. The rubber bands hold the keys down on one side so that when you press a key it will bounce back up into the copper pipes and make sound.”

Remaining Finalists Arts & Leisure (each awarded $150):

2020 Science & Engineering Division

First Place Winner Science & Engineering (awarded $600):

Paige Piccolomini – Grade 6 – North Ridgeville, OH – The Healer

Excerpts from Paige’s essay: “The purpose of the Healer is to heal a hurt foot by stretching it and moving it around. The Healer is meant for a broken foot, a sprained ankle or after a surgery, etc. for your foot…You can make your foot feel better by stretching your foot in the Healer, you can sit down or stand up when using it. After using the Healer you are one step closer to feeling better.”

“The Healer uses rubber bands by stretching your foot…when it crosses over, you put your foot in it and you move it back and forth and it stretches it out. When you put your foot through the rubber bands you can adjust the bands to how you would like it.”

Runner-Up Science & Engineering (awarded $300):

Audrey Francis – Grade 8 – Kent, OH – Footmail

Excerpts from Audrey’s essay: “Footmail is an interesting machine that can solve multiple everyday issues. It is actually a mailbox with a foot pedal. When the pedal is pushed, the lid opens…My mailbox could literally open up doors for people who have limited use of their hands or their arms are full…This mailbox with a foot pedal could also possibly help people who may not have complete functionality of their hands or arms.”

“Rubber bands are a very crucial part of my invention, I have incorporated three into my design. We attached two red rubber bands together to create the correct size and amount of tension. Those two bands act as the pulley that snaps the lid back into place with a tight seal. The rubber bands are attached onto the lid, fed through an opening in the box, and fastened onto a hook in the back of the box. I made them easy to remove so that if the bands break, you can easily change the broken bands out for fresh new bands. The last band is on the exterior. This last band acts as a help to the foot pedal. With the band, the pedal can retract back into place after it is let go.”

Remaining Finalists Science & Engineering (each awarded $150):

2020 Top 8 Schools with the Most Entries

Each school will be awarded a donation of $200 for their achievement.

  • North Ridgeville Academic Center – Ohio
  • Saint Joseph Parish School – Ohio
  • Huddleston Elementary – Georgia
  • Endeavor Elementary School – Ohio
  • Rootstown Middle School – Ohio
  • Grandview Preparatory School – Florida
  • Warrensburg Elementary School (Gifted Program) – Missouri
  • East Rockaway School District (Enterprise Program) – New York

CONGRATULATIONS to this year’s winners, runners-up, finalists, and top schools!

CONGRATULATIONS to each student that entered this year’s contest. Thank you for your hard work and for sharing your creativity with us.

Thank you to all of the teachers, parents, and mentors who helped our students along the way. And thank you to our judges for their time.

Special thank you to our 2020 Gold sponsor:

Rubber Division, American Chemical Society

Stay tuned to our website and be sure to sign up for our mailing list to find out about next year’s 13th annual Rubber Band Contest!


Join the fun and get ready to learn about the rubber band – one of the many amazing inventions created from a unique class of materials known as polymers! This educational contest was designed to give students a new opportunity to have fun learning about Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics. Each year students from across the nation come up with new ways of using rubber band(s) to create amazing inventions, games, artworks, and more!


  • To design and create a working invention/artwork that incorporates at least one (1) rubber band.



  • The first place winner in each division received $600.
  • The runner-up in each division received $300.
  • The four remaining finalists in each division (who were not a first place winner or runner-up) received $150.
  • Schools earned cash donations too! The top 8 schools with the most entries each received a $200 check donation.

OUR CONTEST LESSON PLAN MAKES IT EASIER: standard aligned and easy to integrate with your curriculum

    • Alignment with multiple standards:
      • Next Generation Science Standards
      • Common Core Standards
      • National Standards (Grades 5-8)
      • Ohio Academic Content Standards for Science
      • Ohio Revised Science Education Standards and Model Curriculum
  • Learn more about the Rubber Band Contest Lesson Plan


A few past winners and runners-up talk about their experiences with the contest, as well as tell us some of the story behind their prize-winning entries.