Disney And XPRIZE Select Winning Innovators Of Tomorrow

Disney And XPRIZE Select Winning Innovators Of Tomorrow


LOS ANGELES (May 21, 2015) The Walt Disney Studios and Disney Citizenship, in collaboration with XPRIZE, today announced the winners of the DISNEY CREATE TOMORROWLAND XPRIZE CHALLENGE. Kids between the ages of 8 and 17 were asked to imagine themselves in the future and report back about one new technology that is positively affecting humanity.

A panel of XPRIZE judges reviewed submissions and selected six winners, three from the Junior Division (8-12 years old) and three from the Senior Division (13-17 years old). Challenge submissions were scored based on originality, creativity and presentation.  The winners and their ideas are as follows:

  • Gabrielle Nafie, age 9, of New York, New York, envisioned a robotic origami bee called a bee origamibot. These tiny robots are activated by sunlight, function like real bees by pollinating plants vital to our survival and offset the global decline of the actual insect.
  • Maxwell Fung, age 11, of North Syracuse, New York, imagined a world with no pain thanks to the invention of the pain-blocking nanobot. These teeny metal bots are administered orally prior to surgery to inhibit nerve endings from transferring chemicals that induce pain. The nanobots are removed through the kidneys, result in little to no side effects and are non-addictive.
  • Jason Jackrel, age 12, of North Bellmore, New York, invented the hydrogen-powered scooter, the preferred transportation of the future. By utilizing hydrogen, which emits water, instead of fossil fuels, the hydrogen-powered scooter eliminates C02 emissions.
  • Clarissa Katko, age 15, of Dansville, Michigan, developed a cure for cancer through genetic therapy. By harnessing the genetic makeup of mole rats, whose genes have a high resistance to runway cell growth, humanity will be able to eradicate cancer and extend life expectancy.
  • Adrianne Camero, age 15, of Miami, Florida, devised the Magnēs Lithos Chair, a more efficient and adaptable alternative to the wheelchair. The Magnēs Lithos Chair utilizes the Earth’s electromagnetic field to levitate and is maneuvered by the user’s mind.
  • Natalie Cummings, age 16, of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, tapped into the science of Mother Nature to create artificial trees with leaves that cleanse the air of C02 at exponential rates while also capturing solar energy to power neighboring homes.

“We are thrilled to be able to recognize the talents and imagination of these extraordinary young people,” said Sean Bailey, President, Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production. “The submissions showed an incredible and imaginative vision of the future, and through them, they have brought to life the same spirit and optimism that inspired us to make the film ‘Tomorrowland.’”

“The inventiveness and dexterity showcased in the submissions we received solidify that innovation can originate from anyone if given the opportunity,” said Trish Halamandaris, senior vice president marketing & communications at XPRIZE. “The Create Tomorrowland XPRIZE Challenge tasked young innovators to imagine the future and the outcome was a bright, healthy and creative tomorrow.”

Beginning in June, the six winners will have a once–in-a-lifetime mentorship experience with a leader in their area of interest.  In addition, each winner will receive a $3,000 check, a 3D Printer from 3D Systems, an annual subscription to Tales2Go® and registration for FIRST® LEGO® League for the competition season 2015-2016 in the U.S.

Supporting XPRIZE Partners include FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), 3D Systems, IMAX Corporation, Tales2Go® and the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

To view the winning submissions, please visit http://www.xprizechallenge.org



Founded in 1995, XPRIZE is the leading organization solving the world’s Grand Challenges by creating and managing large-scale, high-profile, incentivized prizes in five areas: Learning; Exploration; Energy & Environment; Global Development; and Life Sciences. Active prizes include the $30M Google Lunar XPRIZE, the $15M Global Learning XPRIZE, the $10M Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE and the $2M Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE. For more information, visit www.xprize.org.

About Disney’s “Tomorrowland”

From Disney comes two-time Oscar® winner Brad Bird’s “Tomorrowland,” a riveting mystery adventure starring Academy Award® winner George Clooney. Bound by a shared destiny, former boy-genius Frank (Clooney), jaded by disillusionment, and Casey (Britt Robertson), a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity, embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space known only as “Tomorrowland.” What they must do there changes the world—and them—forever.

Featuring a screenplay by “Lost” writer and co-creator Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird, from a story by Lindelof & Bird & Jeff Jensen, “Tomorrowland” promises to take audiences on a thrill ride of nonstop adventures through new dimensions that have only been dreamed of.

The film also stars Hugh Laurie as brilliant scientist David Nix, Raffey Cassidy, Tim McGraw, Kathryn Hahn, Keegan-Michael Key and Thomas Robinson.

“Tomorrowland” is produced by Damon Lindelof, Brad Bird and Jeffrey Chernov and directed by Brad Bird, with John Walker, Bernard Bellew, Jeff Jensen and Brigham Taylor serving as executive producers. “Tomorrowland” opens in U.S. theaters on May 22, 2015.

Media Contact

Eric Desatnik
[email protected]

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