12-year-old wins design contest with plastic dome

Design competitions aren't just for adults, as 12-year-old Max Wallack has proved by winning $10,000 for his plastic dome for the homeless built with trash.

Twelve-year-old Max Wallack of Natick spent a day last week being followed around by television cameras, hanging out with engineers and building a model of his latest invention: A shelter for the homeless made from plastic, wire and packing peanuts.

The folks at the WGBH show "Design Squad" selected Wallack's idea from more than 1,000 entries for their Trash to Treasure contest. As the grand prize winner, he will receive $10,000 from the Intel Foundation and a laptop computer.

While the action is noble, I have to wonder what homeless person would ever use this. Here in San Francisco we have our fair share of homeless folks on the street and the basic cheap camping tent seems to be the home of choice. It folds up and can be carried around in a shopping cart. Any time there is some encampment that is big enough, or around for long enough, it gets broken up by the police and everyone moves along, making this useless.

Also curious is why the dome keeps getting called a yurt.

Link via Gizmodo

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LauraT541 year ago

I think this is a wonderful idea! It would be nice if cities set up designated areas for the homeless using these.

Well, I'm 13 and I've done a few things myself, but you don't see me going around flaunting it around. I have Linux on all three of my computers, and installing Ubuntu isn't "Hacking" it. There's a graphical installer the whole way through.
And how do you afford all those computer parts, Money-bags?
But, you do make a good point about the prodigy thing.
im just saying like there tons of kids that are just as good or better . i bet alot of people i know could make a better idea.also i shop realy realy cheap like the cheepest things they have (25$ motherboard) .right now im modify a pent 3 pc i got for 25$ and making a surface computer. also litterally hackd i went into the school network and turned myself into admin
actually when i was 9 it was manualy to install it . the point im trying to make is some people say he is amazing sper smart prodigy . bu have they looked at other kids and what they can do
Okay, Point Taken.
I totally agree with you in your analysis of the project. Not to mention what a windy day would do to the shelter. But, as long as you are still young, start paying attention in school. Your English, spelling, grammar and punctuation are really bad. Unless you are dyslexic, you musts get better if you want to be taken seriously. People talk about it on the net- whether or not someone is intelligent can be irrelevant if they are bad spellers, use English improperly. Your inventions will be stolen by someone who isn't as smart as you are if you can't put together an intelligible sentence. It sounds like you can be one of those innovative millionaires- software moguls, tech geniuses or an inventor. Having you build computers instead of wasting all day on video games is every moms dream. If it doesn’t cost too much, many of us would sponsor you. Maybe you can marry a smart girl and get her to do all the paperwork for you. Take care, kid From a mom of 5 sons P.S. Please don't be insulted. Just read out loud what you wrote there.
FaqMan8 years ago
Wow alot of hate in some comments and mixed decisions but perosonal the idea is great not just for homeless but for practicle camping and portable biosphere uses for other uses. The kid who designed this is 12 and I give him great credit for building. Hopeful this makes it on the markets.Well now this might make me sound a bit like a hypocret but looking in the picture the packing peanutsfor pillows can have a few extra layers of plastic so the peanuts would be a less visible and be a bit more product from tear. Oter than that love the idea.
15 mph winds would wake you up under the stars
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