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Just Add Rubber

More Winners from the Innovation Challenge

Photo: Glenn Matsumura

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By Richard L. Brandt

Artweb 2.0 Creativity Prize

In the Quad near Rodin's Burghers, this team set up an 8-by-4 canvas with a grid of nails and let everyone who strolled past add colorful rubber bands to make spontaneous art.

Cows, Planes, Automobiles Audience Prize

As in the Honda ad that inspired it, objects cavort in a chain reaction of the kind once choreographed by Rube Goldberg. A rubber-band-powered car starts things off.

Rubberband Resistance Wet and Wild Prize

At least four teams put rubber bands to work in Stanford bathrooms to advocate conservation of water or soap. This team wound bands between the spout and the push-up handle of a faucet to create an automatic shutoff.

Special Relativity Model Genius Prize

Michael Fischer, '08, explains a desktop model he devised to explain Einstein's theory of special relativity. Rubber bands connect a long row of pendulums spun by a power drill. In a manner too complicated to explain here, they help demonstrate “why the speed of light in our own real universe is constant in every inertial system.”

Habit-Breaker Audience Prize

With this device, someone can lock bad-habit contraband (video games, candy bars) in a box and hang the key in a rubber-band snare. Retrieving the key means a nasty snap across the fingers.

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