A little over a month ago, we announced the very first Sifteo Scholarship contest. For kids (Pre-K through 8th grades) to enter the contest, we asked them to share one of their best ideas with us, and then explain why they thought their submitted idea was a good one.

In exchange for sharing their ideas, the kids were entered to win a free week at Galileo Learning summer camp and one of 20 free Sifteo packs—prizes to keep the gears turning all summer long!

With nearly 100 applicants to the Sifteo Scholarship and just as many bright ideas, we couldn’t be happier with the results!

We had the privilege of reading about some really diverse ideas and projects, such as a Rolly Polly Rescue Club, a Detective Agency, organic gardening, some smart entrepreneurial endeavors, the automobiles of the future, and more. With so many great entries, tough decisions had to be made! And ultimately, our impartial jury selected 2 exceptional innovators to receive the grand prize.

The following winner of the scholarship was selected to attend Camp Galileo, for Pre-K to 5th graders:

“I want to ask all my classmates at school in Santa Clara to give me their old shoes so I can send them to kids in Africa. My mom and I read a book called “New old shoes” and in it I read that many kids in some parts of Africa do not have even one pair of shoes to wear. They can’t go to school without shoes because thorns poke their feet and they fall sick during rainy season without shoes. I learned about an organization called soles4souls from the book. They take used shoes from kids, clean them and send them in big containers by ship to Africa. My mom says she buys me new shoes every 3 months because I am growing so quickly, so I have many pairs of old shoes. I first wanted to donate my shoes to these kids and then I had an idea – if all my classmates donated their old shoes, then more kids in Africa can go to school and not fall sick so much! So I want to ask all my classmates to give me their old shoes and I will mail them to shoes4soles in California and they will then send it to Africa by ship to kids who can now walk to school safely every day like I do.”

– Dhruv K., Santa Clara, grade 3

We chose Dhruv’s idea as one of our two favorites because we love that the idea seeks to make real something read in a book, and also to involve an entire school in the process of giving. Helping others is important, and we want to recognize what a great impulse that is!

And the following winner of the scholarship was selected to attend Galileo Summer Quest for 5th to 8th graders:

“I’ve had an idea for a useful invention that could be used almost anywhere! A small black contraption, that starches and irons your dollar bills! Here’s a scenario: You walk over to a vending machine (train ticket booth, etc…) and you really want a bag of chips, but the dollar bill your trying to put in keeps getting spit out! Here’s where my invention comes in handy. You insert your worn dollar bill into my machine. It works somewhat like a laminator, but for a different cause. You won’t have to worry about it spitting your bill out, because it’s programmed for worn bills. Anyway, so after it’s been inserted, a white cloud of starch gets sprayed on. Then, it goes into a heated area where pressure is applied, hence, the ironing. When it comes out the other side, you have a crisp dollar bill to put into the vending machine. So as you can see, this invention could be very useful not only in the United States, but also in the rest of the world. This invention was brought on, when I really wanted a bag of corn nuts, but my dollar bill was all wrinkly. Trust me, you would want one of these next to every vending machine, train ticket booth, self-service check out at grocery stores, you name it!”

– Mystery Inventor (we are still awaiting a reply from this winner!)

We chose this idea because we really loved how this idea is so carefully and energetically thought out, and that it presents a creative solution to an everyday problem. We admire that kind of ingenuity!

Congratulations, Dhruv and the Mystery Inventor! We hope to hear from the Mystery Inventor soon so he or she can join Dhruv at Galileo Learning summer camp :).

Congratulations, too, to the 20 kids (10 from each age bracket) who have been contacted via email as the winners of a FREE pack of Sifteo cubes! We look forward to seeing your pictures and hearing about your experiences and creations with the cubes.

And finally, a big “Thanks!” to everyone who participated in the contest!

Happy summer & happy innovating!