This Year’s Flame Challenge Asks Scientists, What is Color?

The Flame Challenge is an international science communication competition, hosted by the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science in Stony Brook University’s School of Journalism, that asks scientists to explain complex science in ways that would interest and enlighten an 11-year old. This year’s question: What is Color?

The winning answers will be seen by 20,000 kids worldwide, and two winners (one in each category: written and visual) will win a trip to New York City to meet Alan Alda and be honored at the World Science Festival in June.

This year’s question can be answered from any scientific perspective. Physicists can talk about the electromagnetic spectrum. Biologists can examine the colors of life. Chemists can describe how compounds emit various colors. Marine scientists can explore why the ocean is blue (or not), and cognitive scientists can discuss whether your blue is my blue. The possibilities are endless. The most important thing: Think of your audience.

Nearly 20,000 student judges are patiently waiting for you to head to the Flame Challenge website and submit your entry. The deadline is March 1, 2014.

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