It's the stuff that many people find addictively fun to pop after opening a fragile package.
But for a group of young inventors, Bubble Wrap is more than something to stomp on, it's a source of inspiration. To 11-year-old Kayla Weston, it's a building material for shock-absorbing flooring for dancers; 11-year-old Max Wallack used it to create wrist cushions for carpal tunnel syndrome sufferers.
"What's better than resting on air?" asked Wallack, of Natick, Mass.
Wallack is among 15 semifinalists competing in the second year of the Bubble Wrap Competition for Young Inventors, sponsored by Sealed Air Corp., the Elmwood Park, N.J.-based creator of the packaging material. More than 1,400 entries were received from students in 39 states.
The contest, administered by the Akron, Ohio-based National Museum of Education, was promoted in schools across the country, and was limited to students in grades five through eight. Contest entries had to be original inventions that incorporated the use of clear Bubble Wrap brand cushioning. Company officials say it's possible some of the student inventions could be used to create new products.
Check out the 15 semi-fainalists here. Finalists will be announced in January.
Photo by Sealed Air Corp..