Lindsey E. Clement
A real problem for residents of the southern United States is cleaning up the "gumballs" dropped by the myriad sweet gum trees that grow in the region. A sweet gumball is a walnut-sized ball with spiny thorns all over it. They fall throughout the fall and winter months and are a nuisance to anyone who has a sweet gum tree in or near their yard. Lindsey's invention, which won the Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventor competition, is constructed of PVC pipe and resembles a small lawnmower. The user simply pushes it along and any gumballs in its path are automatically picked up and dropped into the attached gumball catcher.