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Design Squad Nation; Trash to Treasure


SD Master of Episode 110 Trash to Treasure

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Design Squad Nation
Trash to Treasure
Program Number


Series Description

This series, hosted by professional engineers Judy Lee and Adam Vollmer, is about making kids' dreams come true through engineering. As engineers Judy and Adam use their know-how to help kids across the country and around the world design and build creations.

Premiering on PBS in January 2011, DESIGN SQUAD NATION is a 10-part series of TV shows and video blogs that build on the success of the award-winning PBS reality competition series DESIGN SQUAD to get kids excited about engineering. DESIGN SQUAD NATION is high-energy, high-drama reality TV led by Judy and Adam, two professional engineers who work with kids around the world to make their wishes come true through engineering. From creating a park for skaters at the White Mountain Apache Reservation in Arizona to building a playground in a rural village in Nicaragua's northern mountains, the goal of DESIGN SQUAD NATION is to inspire viewers to take on their own hands-on engineering activities. Series release date: 1/26/2011

Program Description

Original Episode Number: 410

For the season finale, Design Squad Nation asked kids across the country to recycle, re-use, and re-engineer everyday materials into the next big invention in the 2010 Trash to Treasure contest. Three grand-prize winners visit Boston to work with professional engineers at Continuum, a global innovation and design consultancy, to see their original ideas become real products.

Engineering Content: Innovation occurs at the intersection of a vision, problem, creative thinking, materials, and persistence. Science Content: Simple Machines; Force, Buoyancy; Technology, Tools, Materials, and Devices

Winner: Lilly Bulawa, "Sibling Soaker" Lilly's "Sibling Soaker" is a homemade dunking booth made of common household items. After seeing a dunking booth at a fair, Lilly thought of making one for her own backyard parties, and came up with the idea of "just breaking a water balloon over someone's head." "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. Throw, hit target, break water balloon, douse annoying sisters!!"

Winner: MaryAnn Bulawa, "Smarter Toilet" MaryAnn's invention was inspired by the idea of putting a brick in your toilet tank to save water. "My cousins - who are boys - said this doesn't always work because sometimes you need a powerful flush!!" Her solution, "The Smarter Toilet," allows you to choose how much water you flush. A bottle at the end of a plunger acts like a removable brick, and a trigger mechanism lets the bottle float up "if a more powerful flush is needed." To further conserve water, rain is directed into the tank so that less fresh water is needed. "My invention will save millions of gallons of water. More then 40 percent of daily water requirements are used by toilets."

Winner: Daniel Kim, "MiBike" The inspiration for Daniel's invention came from his daily walk to and from school, "My back aches a lot from hauling heavy books to and fro. I want to ride my bike, but the big backpack makes me lose balance. Also when it rains, I get soaked." Daniel's solution is the Mibike; it "turns an old bike into an awesome vehicle for students to use. You ride it like a bike, but you have side mirrors, a roof (to block the rain/snow) and a storage compartment for all your books, pencils, backpacks, etc." The MiBike is also eco-friendly and will encourage people to exercise by giving them the ability to commute by bike.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Chicago: “Design Squad Nation; Trash to Treasure,” 02/10/2011, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed December 15, 2018, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_7B5C9519D6A8490789BFA74C09F2F0DC.
MLA: “Design Squad Nation; Trash to Treasure.” 02/10/2011. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. December 15, 2018. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_7B5C9519D6A8490789BFA74C09F2F0DC>.
APA: Design Squad Nation; Trash to Treasure. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_7B5C9519D6A8490789BFA74C09F2F0DC
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