Ever get the urge to douse your annoying sibling/pal/boyfriend/girlfriend/neighbor/stalker with water (you know, to teach 'em a lesson)? A crafty 12-year-old inventor from Ava, N.Y., has just made public-revenge drenchings a lot easier to pull off than they used to be.
Lilly Bulawa, one of three winners of a green-design contest sponsored by the PBS competition series "Design Squad," created the "Sibling Soaker," a homemade dunk tank fashioned from common household items. After seeing a dunking booth in action at a fair, she decided that she wanted one for backyard parties.
"I made a target out of an old kitchen grease screen that pivots and swings an arm with a pin attached. This pin hits a water balloon hanging off a clothes pin," she said. "Throw, hit target, break water balloon, douse annoying sisters!!"
Now, as a winner of the 2010 Trash to Treasure competition, Bulawa has netted the sort of prize even the most seasoned inventor dreams of: she was flown to Boston to watch her innovation bring built by Continuum, a global design consultancy (watch the video below).
Trash to Treasure challenged kids ages 5 to 19 to recycle, reuse, and re-engineer everyday materials to create the next great green invention.
The device had to fit into one of the three categories: mobility, environmental protection, or play. Lilly's Sibling Soaker, which clearly falls into the latter category (if you're the one doing the dunking), might not seem so green on the surface, but think about how much water it saves, compared with the traditional dunking machines used to keep school principals humble.
Also concerned with saving water is Lilly's 14-year-old sister, MaryAnn Bulawa. No doubt fresh off being hit by a water balloon in the family backyard, she came up with another grand-prize-winning invention, the "Smarter Toilet," which lets users decide how much water they need to flush. … Read more