The Flame Challenge – an awesome STEM project for kids!


Image of Alan Alda taken at the World Science ...

Image of Alan Alda taken at the World Science Festival launch press conference (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you don’t listen to ScienceFriday on NPR, then you may not know about The Flame Challenge. The Flame Challenge is a contest, launched by actor and science advocate Alan Alda, to answer the question that he had as an 11-year old boy, “What is a flame?” The contest invited scientists from all over the world to answer that question in a way that an average 11-year old kid could understand.

I listened to the program yesterday and the results are in and a winner has been selected by 11-year old kids around the world. The winner is Ben Ames, a Ph.D. candidate in Quantum Optics, from the University of Innsbruck. I think you’ll agree that his video is really amazing. Even I could understand just about everything Ben was talking about! I can easily imagine embedding some interaction and formative assessment opportunities for kids would make this a STELLAR lesson.  Take a look….what do you think??

For more information about this contest visit http://flamechallenge.org/, where you can also see the entries of the finalists and honorable mentions. Submissions suggesting next year’s question topic are now being accepted from 11-year olds everywhere. Visit the site, if you would like to get your children or students involved.

About karen mahon

i am a behavior and learning scientist. i hold an ed.d. in educational psychology and am trained as an instructional designer. i have spent more than 15 years working in education and instructional software design.
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