"Home Dome" Wins Trash to Treasure Challenge


Images from By Kids For Kids

Twelve-year-old Max Wallack of Massachusetts won the Design Squad's Trash to Treasure Competition, a contest that inspired kids to repurpose trash into practical inventions. Wallack's creation is the "Home Dome," a Mongolian yurt-shaped structure made of plastic bags filled with Styrofoam packing peanuts. The dome comes with a built-in bed that weighs the structure down. Wallack created the "Home Dome" as a temporary shelter for homeless people and disaster victims. It also serves to relieve landfill growth.The Trash to Treasure Competition
The aim of the Design Squad's contest was to challenge kids to take mundane discarded materials and rebuild them into something useful with the conditions that the new products provided mobility, protected the environment or were something kids could play with. Other entries included a modified mattress spring that could clear away drain clogs, a rain-powered waterwheel and a reusable tissue box. The "Home Dome" bested all comers, however, and Max was awarded a $10,000 prize provided by the Intel Foundation.

"I don't really care about the money. I care about helping people," said Max.

The Inspiration for the "Home Dome"
"When I was six," Max said, "I won an invention contest that included a trip to Chicago. While there, I saw homeless people living on streets, and beneath highways and underpasses. I felt very sorry for these people, and ever since then, felt that my goal and obligation was to find a way to help them. My invention improves the living conditions for homeless people, refugees, or disaster victims by giving them easy-to-assemble shelter."

Max Wallack: Inventor and Gentleman
In the second grade, Max won a contest held by the National Science Teacher's Association. He invented a wooden step with a handle that helped his great-grandmother get into automobiles. The prize from that contest was a trip to Chicago, the place where the idea for the "Home Dome" originated. Wallack also has a patent pending for a bubble-wrap based carpal tunnel aid that is worn on the wrists. The wrist aid has been praised by the president of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand.

More on Reusing Trash
10 Ways to Reuse Junk Mail from ProQuo
6 Reuses for Pizza Boxes
5 Reuses for Tea Bags

Tags: Reusability | Television | Waste

Best of TreeHugger