UPDATE: Stay tuned for the Official Launch of the 14th Annual Rubber Band Contest (2021-2022), coming soon to this website!

2021 Arts & Leisure Division

First Place Winner Arts & Leisure (awarded $300):

Kaelyn Nguyen – Grade 5 – College Station, TX – Blooming Blossom

Excerpts from Kaelyn’s essay: “My artwork is a cherry blossom tree made out of a tree branch, rubber bands, some painted fabric/paper flowers, and crocheted rubber band flower buds. I made it into a cherry blossom tree because although the branch comes from a Texas oak tree, it reminded me of cherry blossom trees I’ve seen in movies that take place in Japan.”

“My invention uses rubber bands around each tree branch (which was very challenging to do). I used pink rubber bands to crochet the tiny buds that look like they are about to blossom. This helped to give the tree a realistic look because the buds were smaller than the blossoms I painted and glued to the branches. Some small bands were used for small tree branches while the big bands were used for big branches and tightening the weak twig-like branches.”

Runner-Up Arts & Leisure (awarded $150):

Riley Stepan – Grade 8 – North Ridgeville, OH – Pinball Machine

Excerpts from Riley’s essay: “My invention is a pinball machine made with wood, rubber bands, washers, a bouncy ball, puzzle erasers, and nails. Personalization was a must, with the purpose being to have fun and play pinball. When you go to a restaurant and are waiting in the waiting room, sometimes they have pinball machines, and playing with them is always entertaining. Now that I built my own, I don’t have to go out, with access to one whenever I want.”

“My invention uses rubber bands in many different ways. One way the machine employs rubber bands is when shooting off the marble. Also, the rubber bands serve as a border to keep the marble from falling off the board. My invention’s last way of using rubber bands is when pulling the wooden flippers back after they flip the ball to return to the starting position automatically.”

Remaining Finalists Arts & Leisure (each awarded $75):

  • Paxton Dickey – Grade 6 – Clearwater, FL – The Bucket Band-it
  • Kenlee Kleam – Grade 8 – Bridgeport, TX – Snapped Canvas
  • Jeanne Lambert – Grade 8 – Lancaster, PA – Band Land
  • Katarina Santiago – Grade 7 – Franklin, TN – Scrambled Eggs

2021 Science & Engineering Division

First Place Winner Science & Engineering (awarded $300):

Karthika Hariprasad – Grade 7 – Lexington, KY – Logic Lock

Excerpts from Karthika’s essay: “My invention is called the Logic Lock. It is a lock, specifically a child lock. It is used as a lock for doors with no lock, like a cabinet or closet. I created a keypad by hot gluing 9 plush buttons onto the lid of a cardboard box.”

“How it works is you stretch a rubber band around the door knob, and one around a button. When you push the button, it pops open, unlocking the door. The more rubber bands you add, the stronger the lock will be. I created some rubber bands with a jingle on the bottom, and, it will make a noise alerting you that your child is trying to open the door. I also created a grid, by weaving rubber bands and stitching the sides. This is a keypad cover.”

Runner-Up Science & Engineering (awarded $150):

Alisyn Mulholland – Grade 8 – Lancaster, PA – The Rubber Band Bungee Chair

Excerpts from Alisyn’s essay: “My invention is a special bungee chair for people who work in office chairs all day. It’s called the Rubber Band Bungee Chair! People sitting in my chair get the elasticity of a bungee chair, but the upright structure and support of a regular chair. This will make sitting for hours more comfortable, because the bouncy feeling from the industrial rubber bands creates an energizing, free, and overall enjoyable feeling.”

“Rubber bands are used on the seat. These rubber bands are industrial sized and used for moving large cargo. Therefore, they are strong enough to hold people based on size, and if more of these chairs were made there would be stronger rubber bands so that anyone could use them. This particular chair is made to fit me, an eighth grader, so there would need to be changes in the chair size for people of all ages.”

Remaining Finalists Science & Engineering (each awarded $75):

  • Caitlyn Hays – Grade 6 – Ravenna, OH – The Stretch Guy Game
  • Devlin Herbert – Grade 6 – Palm Harbor, FL – The Real Mini Golf
  • Ashton Lovegreen – Grade 7 – Palmyra, MO – Rubber Rocket Launcher
  • Carlo Nicolis – Grade 6 – Newtown Square, PA – Rubberband Car

2021 Top 8 Schools with the Most Entries

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

  • Clearwater Fundamental Middle School – Florida
  • Freedom Middle School – Tennessee
  • Saint Joseph Parish School – Ohio
  • Palmyra R-1 School District – Missouri
  • Harmony School of Excellence – Texas
  • Manheim Township Middle School – Pennsylvania
  • Bridgeport Middle School – Texas
  • Rootstown Middle School – Ohio

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 2021 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 14th 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 will receive $300.
  • The runner-up in each division will receive $150.
  • The four remaining finalists in each division (who are not a first place winner or runner-up) will receive $75.
  • Schools can earn cash donations too! The top eight schools with the most student entries will each receive an equal donation shared from a donation pool of $1,600*. (*The donation pool will be divided equally by the total number of schools in the top eight including any schools that are tied for spots in the top eight. In-eligible entries do not count towards school awards.)

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.