Bubble Wrap turns into money | SteamboatToday.com

Bubble Wrap turns into money

Local girl takes inventive side to insulation

Melinda Mawdsley

Hannah Barkey, 13, sews her canvas shade together for the Steamboat Sealed Air Shade she invented as part of the Bubble Wrap Competition for Young Inventors. Barkey had to use Bubble Wrap in the invention.

— Intrigued with the idea of being an inventor, Hannah Barkey sought to find a functional way to use Bubble Wrap.

“It was hard to be creative,” Hannah said. “I had to think about it.”

Hannah, 13, thought and thought, and then she walked into her room.

“I saw my shades,” she said. “I didn’t like the ones I had. It didn’t keep a lot of heat in and the cold out. I thought about the insulation quality of Bubble Wrap.”

Hannah invented the Steamboat Sealed Air Shade, sewing Bubble Wrap to canvas for double insulation on her own.

The practicality and creativity of Hannah’s invention earned her a spot in the Bubble Wrap Competition for Young Inventors’ national semifinals. Hannah is one of 10 children between the ages of 10 and 14 competing for $10,000 in U.S. Savings Bonds and a trip to New York City.

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Hannah already won $500 in U.S. Savings Bonds for being a semifinalist. She’ll find out in January if she made the finals. The champion will be announced Jan. 29.

Nearly 800 children entered the Bubble Wrap competition, and the 10 semifinalists come from nine states across the country.

Some of the other projects include a Bubble Wrap seed incubator, an Ann T. Stress doll and a solar-powered Bubble Wrap boat.

The contest was sponsored by Sealed Air Corporation, which makes Bubble Wrap, and administered by the National Museum of Education.

Hannah is in seventh-grade math and science teacher Lisa Lorenz’s class, but Lorenz, who said she was proud of Hannah for inventing something, credited colleague Kerry Kerrigan for finding the competition.

Middle school gifted and talented teacher Lisa Ruff formulated lesson plans for students to learn more about inventions and inventors, which aligned with state curriculum standards.

Steamboat students decided whether or not to enter the Bubble Wrap Competition for Young Inventors, and Hannah was the only seventh-grader who decided to enter a project.

“It’s interesting to experiment with different things and see what works,” Hannah said.

For more

Steamboat Springs’ Hannah Barkey, 13, a national semifinalist in the Bubble Wrap Competition for Young Inventors, will be doing a live interview on KWGN in Denver at 7:54 a.m. Wednesday.