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Fall 2019 Contest is Open!

By November 5, 2019February 25th, 2020Tinkering News

Create a Ride for One of Your Toys! And Win!

Fall is officially here, which means it’s time for our next contest!  We hope your young Tinkerers will give it a try.

For this contest, we are looking for tinkerers to MAKE A RIDE FOR ONE OF YOUR TOYS. This means, build something using materials from the Electric Motors Catalyst kit that can physically carry a toy as it moves from point A to point B.

We love this challenge because it engages many kinds of creativity.  There’s the engineering thinking involved in making a vehicle, and there’s the imaginative element of choosing a toy and figuring out what kind of vehicle it needs.  Kids are natural Design Thinkers and this challenge puts their hands and minds to work together.

We are looking for all tinkerers that are age 15 and younger. Please encourage any kids you know – your kids, your students, your neighbors. We want to see a massive outpouring of innovation!

Everyone who enters the contest will receive a real-wood sticker that says “I DID IT.” And the winner of the contest will receive a beautiful, custom toolbox made by Oakland woodworker Greg Laird. This toolbox is made from top quality oak and maple with dovetailed construction. Its handle is steam-bent for strength and comfort, and there’s a sliding tray insert for small parts. And the coolest part – it will be customized with the winner’s name!  Take a look:

Custom made wood toolbox

The Grand Prize: A Hand-Made Wood Toolbox

  • Hand made by Oakland woodworker Greg Laird.
  • Solid oak, with dovetailed construction.
  • Sliding tray with solid maple rails provides storage for small parts.
  • The winner’s name will be laser etched onto a circular wood nameplate.
  • Steam-bent oak handle is contoured for comfort.
  • And if you don’t win, you still get this wood sticker just for trying!
Challenge Sticker
Tinkering Labs Toolbox with sliding tray

How to Enter:

  1. Using your Electric Motors Catalyst kit, build a contraption that creates a ride for one of your toys. You can use whatever you want to build it, but it must include at least some parts from the Electric Motors Catalyst kit. A toy must be able to be carried by your contraption – which means it also has to be capable of motion! 
  2. Take a video showing the toy in motion. Feel free to explain how you built it and how it works. We will look at design, imagination, and effectiveness of toy transportation to determine the winner. Check out our Young Inventors page for examples of previous contest winners.
  3. Post the video on Facebook or Youtube. Or, email it to us at
  4. Fill out the entry form below so we know who you are and where to send the wood sticker… and the toolbox if you win!

The deadline is: Monday December 2, 2019. So you have time for Tinkering with the cousins over Thanksgiving weekend! We will announce the winner a week later.

The Rules:

  1. Use at least some parts from your Electric Motors Catalyst kit.
  2. By submitting your photo or video, you give us permission to use your entry for marketing purposes. We will credit the child by first name and home town only, see the Young Inventors page for examples.
  3. All young inventors age 15 or younger are welcome to participate in the contest; however, the entry form must be completed by a parent/guardian or educator over the age of 18.

Now it’s time to get out your Electric Motors Catalyst kits and start tinkering! Those toys aren’t going to be able to move without your help. Good luck!

Entry Form:



    Inventor's First Name (required)

    Inventor's Home Town and State or Country (for example, "Cumberland Gap, TN" or "Ubatuba, Brazil") (required)

    Where can we find the inventor's video? (required)

    Enter the URL if you posted it on YouTube or Facebook, or if you emailed it to, enter the email address that you sent it from.


    This is optional, but if you complete it we will send the inventor their wood sticker and any other prizes they win.

    First Name

    Last Name

    Address 1

    Address 2



    Postal Code

    Phone Number

    Parent/Guardian or Educator Email

    Get Tinkering!

    – The Tinkering Labs Team

    Challenge 4 Sticker