Prairie Middle School has been selected as one of ten schools in the world to participate in the World Flame Challenge next Tuesday, April 28 at 11 a.m. in the Library Media Center.
The World Flame Challenge is run by the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University. Each year, the group poses a science question for college professors to answer that can be easily understood by an 11-year-old. This year’s question is, “What is Sleep?”
Prairie, and nine other schools, including one in India, will be live Skyping with Stony Brook University on this topic. Students will be viewing the professor’s answers and talking about them live over the internet.
The Flame Challenge began in 2012, based on actor and science advocate Alan Alda’s childhood question: “What is a flame?” The contest is generously sponsored by the American Chemical Society and the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science).
“I came up with this contest as a fun challenge for scientists to explain a complex thing like a flame in a way that would make it clear to an 11 year old,” Alan Alda said. “The idea was to urge scientists to communicate more clearly. I didn’t realize what an extraordinary learning experience it was going to be for the 11-year-olds. By now, tens of thousands of kids from all over the world have excitedly delved into the mysteries of nature as they’ve judged the scientists’ entries. This year’s question — “What is sleep?” — should wake them up to a whole new understanding of that third of our lives we know so little about.”
Two winners of the 2015 Flame Challenge will each receive a $1,000 cash prize. They will be revealed at a special event at the World Science Festival on May 31, 2015. Learn more about the Flame Challenge at CenterForCommunicatingScience.org.