TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The Discovery Science Center of Tyler recently held the East Texas area Trash To Treasure contest and the winner is eligible to go on to nationals. Young inventors take items you find in the trash and make something useful out of them.
Nathaniel Fino is always tinkering with his toys or trying to see what he can put together with random things, like his "Arm Launcher."
"I'm going to have to aim that up," he said, demonstrating his ball launching device.
With the help of his mom, Angela Lambert, he entered the local Trash to Treasure contest and when they went back to the Discovery Science Center, he had something to say.
"'Hi. I want to know who won,' and they were like, 'What's your name?' And, I said, 'Nathaniel Fino,' and the lady starts jumping up and down," he said.
It was pretty obvious at that point who won. But, the contest is not over yet.
"They pick a few people from each state and I guess they pick the best invention. Hopefully, I'll win and then they turn it into an actual toy…marketable," he explained excitedly.
So, where did the idea for the wacky toy begin?
"I could tell Nathaniel had a creative side to him when he was young…and so I wanted him to get to explore that," said his mom, Angela Lambert. "Legos were a big thing in our family. He never has taken a Lego or a Bionical set, and really used it for what it was supposed to be used for. And as long as he keeps it contained to his little tubs or whatever, I love to see him sitting around doing that. He was never satisfied with the toy by itself just the way it was. I'm proud of him. I'm proud of him."
Two other kids can go to the PBS national contest: Shawn Fox of Bullard and Grayson Bingham of Tyler. They are competing with kids around their age from all over the country for a chance to be on the series Design Squad.