Kids' Science Challenge

We’re proud to announce the launch of the Kids’ Science Challenge on October 1, 2008, supported by a major grant from the National Science Foundation.

The Kids’ Science Challenge is a nationwide competition designed to engage 3rd to 6th-graders in practicing science––and discovering how much fun it can be. Students will be able to submit experiments and problems to real scientists in very exciting, kid-friendly fields and then follow along as scientists and engineers attempt to do the experiments and solve these problems.

Can you make a skateboard that can turn corners? Can you make ice cream that’s cold but tastes hot? In the Kids’ Science Challenge, we’ll see ideas like these turned into realities. Each student who submits a winning entry gets to visit and collaborate with a scientist.

At kidsciencechallenge.com, you’ll find online games, fun videocasts and great prizes. Plus, any kid can track the progress of the competition. There are also curriculum-based activities for classrooms and after-school groups to follow along.  With online activities and free hands-on science kits to the first thousand entries, kids can:

• test their local water supply
• decode a “message” from outer space
• find out if they or any of their friends are “super-tasters”
• try their hand (literally) at doing a fingerboard “Ollie,” and learn about gravity and friction while they’re at it!

We are very excited about the scientists involved in Year 1 of the Kids’ Science Challenge! They include:

Michael Bream, founder, Gravity Skateboards; and Paul Schmitt, founder, CreateAskate.org, who are engineering safe and cutting-edge new skateboards.
Adina Paytan, oceanographer, University of California, Santa Cruz, who tracks water pollution worldwide.
Joan Harvey, Flavor Development Manager at Cadbury, who is creating new flavors for candy and chewing gum.
Jill Tarter, Doug Vakoch, Nathalie Cabrol and Seth Shostak, members of the SETI Institute, who are involved in the challenges of searching for extraterrestrial life in the universe.

A recent Raytheon Corporation study found that 84% of surveyed 11-to-13-year-olds in the US would ‘rather clean their room, eat their vegetables, go to the dentist or take out the garbage than learn math or science.’ Perhaps that explains why U.S. 12th-graders recently tested well below the international average for 21 countries in mathematics and science.* We can do better!

If you go to http://www.kidsciencechallenge.com and click on “Teachers and Parents,” you’ll find:

Customized lesson plans
FREE science activity kits
Teaching science with the Kids’ Science Challenge web site
After-school science learning activities
Entry kits and official rules

Kids can also visit the Kids’ Science Challenge clubhouse on Whyville.net for live chats with our scientists. And they can work collaboratively on their Kids Science Challenge projects at imbee.com.

For more information, please contact the Kids’ Science Challenge team at [email protected]. And please send us your feedback!

Made possible by the National Science Foundation

* http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/200

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