MOUNDRIDGE — Logan Wulf is a typical, active fifth grader who recently earned national recognition with his science fair project.
Science is one of Logan's favorite subjects at school.
"I like doing STEM and building things," Logan said.
After class, he plays football. He also enjoys other activities like riding his four-wheeler around the pasture at his grandmother's house.
When issued the challenge of inventing something for the National Museum of Education's Student Ideas for a Better America competition, an idea came to his mind.
"Their task was to find a solution to a problem that they have," said Adam Wulf, Logan's father.
"Riding around on my four-wheeler, my thumb would hurt pushing the throttle," Logan said.
So Logan came up with the plans to build a device to slip over the handlebar that would allow him to turn it to activate the throttle.
"Instead of pushing it with your thumb, you would twist it," Logan said.
The device, made with metal tubing, fits onto the handle of a four-wheeler. Logan wrapped baseball bat tape around the pipe to give users extra grip.
"We got it put together in one day," Logan said.
"After a few days of trial and error," his dad added.
"Then we painted it and, when it was dry, we put the batting tape on and took it to school," Logan said.
Logan tested his invention beforehand to make sure it would work, then entered his "Twist-inator" into the fourth grade science fair last school year.
"I got first place out of 42 kids," Logan said. "After that, I got permission to send it off to the nationals."
A few weeks later, Logan learned he won first place in the National Museum of Education's Student Ideas for a Better America competition. The program, which accepts entries year-round and chooses top winners each month, solicits ideas for a new way to demonstrate an educational concept, an idea for a new product or an improvement for an existing product or procedure.
Logan was surprised to learn he won the competition.
"They said I got first and sent me $100 in the mail," Logan said.
That $100 went into Logan's bank account and his parents framed the accompanying certificate.
Now, Logan is waiting to hear if his invention will bring him the opportunity to get a patent — and to appear on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon."
Logan admitted he has only watched the TV show once, given its late time slot.
"We've become a lot bigger fans after getting that news," Adam said. "...It'll be a once-in-a-lifetime experience."
For more information about the National Museum of Education, visit https://www.nmoe.org.
Contact Patricia Middleton by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her stories on Twitter at @MiddleSentinel.