Kid TOYchallenge Winners Named at National Showcase

SAN DIEGO--()--July 9, 2004--

  Student Teams From Irvine, Calif. and Chillicothe, Ohio Share Top Honors, Team From Orinda, Calif. Takes 2nd Place at Toy and Game Design Contest Aimed at Engaging Middle School Kids, Especially Girls, in Science and Engineering  



The three grand prize winners of TOYchallenge(TM) 2004 - Wave Riders of Irvine, Calif., for "Boogie 2 Boogie" (1st place tie); Knowledge Seekers of Chillicothe, Ohio for "I Could be a..." (1st place tie); Tinker Thinkers of Orinda, Calif. for "Otto's Organizer" (2nd place) - were selected yesterday at the national finals at the San Diego Aerospace Museum, Balboa Park. The fun-fueled toy- and game-design competition was created by Sally Ride Science(TM), Smith College and Hasbro, Inc. to motivate and encourage middle school-age kids, especially girls, to pursue science and engineering as study or career fields. The contest was sponsored by Hasbro and Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society.

The top three TOYchallenge designs were selected from entries submitted by teams of children in grades 5 through 8 from around the country, half of whose members were required to be girls. The design teams picked an adult coach, chose a theme from seven toy categories such as "Games for the Family," "Get out and Play," and "Remarkable Robots," and were invited to present their original toy or game concept at regional showcases held in March, April and May. Regardless of whether they were able to attend a regional event or the finals, all teams were invited to submit their final prototypes at the National Showcase. The toys and games were evaluated on originality, creativity, engineering elegance, feasibility, communication and team participation. The panel of judges included Smith College engineering professors, Hasbro toymakers and Sigma Xi board members.

The Grand Prizes(a) were awarded as follows. Each team member also received a special Mrs. Potato Head trophy.

-- Hasbro figures personalized in their likenesses for each team member of the Wave Riders - comprised of fifth, sixth and seventh grade students: Alyssa Hansen, Amy Hansen, Kaycee Johnsen and Nicholas Johnsen; coached by Janice Hansen - creators of "Boogie 2 Boogie," the ultimate boogie board which is shaped like a boomerang and can be connected to a friend's board with a leash. It also features a small, radio-activated light in the nose that is controlled by a transmitter on shore, allowing a parent to be in contact with the child.

-- Week at Space Camp (www.spacecamp.com) for each team member of the Knowledge Seekers - comprised of sixth grade students: Caitlynn Anderson, Shelby Buck, Cameron Clay, Taylor Delph, Courtney Paul, Ryan Shoemaker, Andrew Van Matre and Kirsti Zickefoose; coached by Chris Dodds - creators of "I Could be a...," a game that can be offered in three versions - medicine, science and law - which includes a fold-out octagonal playing board and 80 cards, each with three questions. On each turn, the four players can choose how many points - one, two or three - they hope to gain, or possibly lose. The higher the points, the harder the question.

-- Thames & Kosmos Fuel Cell Car and Experiment Kit for each team member of the Tinker Thinkers - comprised of fifth grade students: Margaux Attard, Haley Leslie-Bole, Neris Newton, Ann-Marie Pister, Haley Rowland and Danielle Vignos; coached by Petra Michel - creators of "Otto's Organizer," a stuffed dog that doubles as a child's school caddy. In addition to cleverly concealing a pencil case in his back, a pencil sharpener is his ear, a glue stick in his front right leg, a stapler in his right rear leg and a highlighter in his tail, Otto can also speak and shares homework tips and encouragement.

((a)travel not included)

"This year's entries were very impressive, the level of innovation and intricacy exhibited in the kids' designs was just incredible," said Sally Ride, founder of Sally Ride Science. "The continued success of TOYchallenge reinforces the strong need for providing our country's children, especially girls, with creative, hands-on science education programs in order to ensure a solid science workforce for the future."

"At Hasbro, our heart and soul goes into making all of our products, but a key element of a truly fun toy or game is the intricate design and engineering behind it," noted Karen Davis, vice president of community relations for Hasbro, Inc. "We are very excited that TOYchallenge is not only helping kids understand the mechanics of product development, but is also allowing them to have fun playing with their own creations."

"Creativity plus an engineering mind is a winning combination," said Domenico Grasso, director of Smith College's Picker Engineering Program. "It's never too early for kids, especially girls, to get that message."

"Sigma Xi members and chapters have a longstanding tradition of nurturing future generations of scientists and engineers," said executive director Patrick D. Sculley. "We were pleased to join Sigma Xi member Sally Ride and the other sponsors in supporting this creative, dynamic competition. All of the participants, as well as the award-winners, are to be congratulated."

Design Category Prizes were also awarded. Each team member received a Sigma Xi coffee table book and a Hasbro game pack.

Games for the Family   "World Wide Web Racing"
                       Micro Chicks of Speedway, Ind.
                       Members: Sixth Graders - Emily Browning, 
                       Jessica Daniel, Kate Kenny, and Hillary Ralston
                       Coach: Jennifer Browning

Get Out and Play       "Multi-Sporter"(b)
                       Hanaford Hawks of East Greenwich, R.I.
                       Members: Sixth Graders - Brent Basso, Celia 
                       Corrente, Brian Cunningham, Eric Fugleberg, 
                       Avonlea Mayne, Alex Rickert, Kate Schnell, and
                       Meghan White
                       Coach: Amanda Pretto
                       ((b) Also named Challenge Choice by National
                       Showcase attendees. Each team member also 
                       received a Hasbro Video Now game.)

Remarkable Robots      "Galactic Pony"
                       Alias of Sunland, Calif.
                       Members: Sixth Graders - Samantha Arman, Hilary
                       Arndt, Pamela Langmaier, and Veronica Pineda
                       Coach: Bobbie Peterson

Toys that Teach 
  - Preschool          "Check Out!"
                       The Stingers of Perrysburg, Ohio
                       Members: Eighth Graders - Nick Ames, Emma Kuhl,
                       Layal Naserdin, Ellen Steele, Tara Toth, and 
                       Pamela Twu
                       Coach: Stephanie Tanner

Toys that Teach 
  - School Age         "The Element of Surprise"
                       The Ions of Pembroke, Mass.
                       Members: Eighth Graders - Victoria Bethay, 
                       Holly Gage, Kevin Keeley, and Emily Warnock
                       Coach: Sue Turley

TOYchallenge 2005 will officially launch on September 12, 2004 at the third annual Sally Ride Science Festival at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. The registration deadline is December 15. However, interested coaches who pre-register their team before September 12 can receive a free TOYchallenge 2004 T-shirt for each team member, while supplies last. For more information, please visit www.TOYchallenge.com or call (800) 561-5161.

TOYchallenge

TOYchallenge(TM) was developed by Sally Ride, founder of Sally Ride Science(TM), Domenico Grasso, director of Smith College's Picker Engineering Program and Hasbro, Inc. as an outreach activity to engage middle school-age students, especially girls, in science and engineering and to inspire them to pursue careers in those fields. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women comprise only 9 percent of the engineering workforce. However, studies show that, in elementary school, equal numbers of girls and boys are interested in--and good at--math, science and technology. Unfortunately, beginning around the sixth grade, more girls than boys drift away from these subjects. While open to all U.S. students in grades five through eight, TOYchallenge focuses on catching girls' attention in these subjects in order to keep them in the engineering "pipeline." Hasbro and Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society are sponsors of TOYchallenge 2004.

Sally Ride Science

Sally Ride Science(TM) was founded by astronaut Sally Ride to support the large numbers of girls and young women who are, or might become, interested in science, math and technology. The company organizes quality events, programs and activities for girls that empower them, engage them and encourage their interests. Current programs include Sally Ride Science Festivals, Sally Ride Science Camps, TOYchallenge(TM), and the Sally Ride Science Club(TM) - a national Club created to keep middle school girls engaged in science adventures by connecting them to people, information and attitudes that will nurture their relationship with science. For more information on Sally Ride Science programs, please visit: www.SallyRideScience.com, or call (800) 561-5161.

Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE:HAS) is a worldwide leader in children's and family leisure time entertainment products and services, including the design, manufacture and marketing of games and toys ranging from traditional to high-tech. Both internationally and in the U.S., its PLAYSKOOL, TONKA, MILTON BRADLEY, PARKER BROTHERS, TIGER, and WIZARDS OF THE COAST brands and products provide the highest quality and most recognizable play experiences in the world.

Smith College is consistently ranked among the nation's foremost liberal arts colleges. Enrolling 2,800 students from every state and 60 other countries, Smith is the largest undergraduate women's college in the country. Smith's Picker Engineering Program, the first such program at a U.S. women's college, is focused on developing broadly educated engineers capable of assuming leadership roles in corporations, non-profit organizations and technology-related fields. The college's first engineering majors graduated in May.

Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society (www.sigmaxi.org) is the international honor society of science and engineering. The Society is a diverse organization with more than 70,000 members in more than 500 chapters in North America and overseas. Sigma Xi publishes American Scientist magazine (www.americanscientist.org), sponsors a grant program for young researchers and organizes programs and services in the areas of research ethics, science and engineering education, the public understanding of science and technology and international research cooperation. The Society's administrative offices are located in Research Triangle Park, N.C.

San Diego Aerospace Museum

The San Diego Aerospace Museum celebrates the history of aviation and space flight, educates the public in aerospace technology, and inspires young people of all ages to excel in math and the sciences. The San Diego Aerospace Museum, a non-profit organization and the first aero theme museum to receive accreditation by the American Association of Museums in 1986, is located in the historic Ford Building in Balboa Park, 2001 Pan American Plaza. Summer hours Memorial Day through Labor Day 10:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. With admission until 5:00 p.m. The museum is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. The Museum Store is open during museum hours. $9 for Adults/$4 ages 6-17 years/$7 Seniors (65+)/$7 Students with valid ID/ Free Active Duty Military and children under 6/ $4 Simulator ride. Behind-the-scenes Restoration Tours are available for an additional $3 per person. (619) 234-8291. www.aerospacemuseum.org.

Contacts

Sally Ride Science
Toni DiMartino, 858-638-0960
tonidimartino@hotmail.com
OR
Hasbro
Julie Duffy, 401-727-5931
jduffy@hasbro.com
OR
Smith College
Laurie Fenlason, 413-585-2190
lfenlason@smith.edu
OR
Sigma Xi
Patrick Sculley or Evan Ferguson, 800-243-6534
psculley@sigmaxi.org or eferguson@sigmaxi.org
or
San Diego Aerospace Museum
Ruth Chandler Varonfakis, 858-273-0928
rcvaronfakis@aol.com

Contacts

Sally Ride Science
Toni DiMartino, 858-638-0960
tonidimartino@hotmail.com
OR
Hasbro
Julie Duffy, 401-727-5931
jduffy@hasbro.com
OR
Smith College
Laurie Fenlason, 413-585-2190
lfenlason@smith.edu
OR
Sigma Xi
Patrick Sculley or Evan Ferguson, 800-243-6534
psculley@sigmaxi.org or eferguson@sigmaxi.org
or
San Diego Aerospace Museum
Ruth Chandler Varonfakis, 858-273-0928
rcvaronfakis@aol.com