What it is: Kids’ Science Challenge is a nationwide competition for 3rd- 6th graders to submit experiment ideas and problems for real scientists and engineers to solve. Teachers or after school science programs can enter their classes for this contest that will inspire students to find the fun in science. The deadline for entry is January 31st, 2009 so get this one in before the holiday break! The grand prize winner will win a visit with the scientist or engineer to work with them to solve the question or problem proposed, along with possible appearances in Kids’ Science Challenge videos and Pulse of the Planet radio programs. Other prizes include: a tour of the flavor lab, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream party, science kits, Kids’ Science Encyclopedia and Science books, visit to the SETI institute, telescope, personal planetariums, celestial seeker, a visit to a skateboard engineering workshop, a visit to your school from a pro-skater, a week at camp Woodyard, a skateboard, a physics workshop, a research cruise, kayak, handheld digital microscope, and more! If that isn’t incentive to give it a try, I don’t know what is! The first 1000 entrants get a free science activity kit. The Kids’ Science Challenge website is a great place to explore even if you won’t be able to participate in the challenge. Students are introduced to real scientists through video, can play science games, and find additional activities including downloadable science projects.
How to integrate Kids’ Science Challenge into the classroom: Invite your students to explore the Kids’ Science Challenge website and then journal some original questions, problems, or experiment ideas that are related to one of the four fields of science including flavor science, water quality, skateboard engineering, and the search for life in outer space. This is a great opportunity to use technology creatively to present the questions and problems that students have and want solved. Think blogs, websites, video, or podcast.
Tips: Be sure to check out the great lesson plans for the k-12 classroom to use for each of the scientific fields explored on this site. The lesson plans are aligned to National Science Education Standards.
Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Kids’ Science Challenge in your classroom.