Monday, 4 June 2012

What is a flame?

The Flame Challenge is a competition set up online by actor Alan Alda to explain the science of a flame to a jury of 11-year-old students. Quite a science communication task. The winner (and six finalists) were announced recently: congratulations to Ben Ames, University of Innsbruck. This is his winning video:

The science content is spot on, and the format of the explanation very original. If you have an 11-year old nearby, ask to confirm the appeal of the entry. It looks very convincing to me but I am 2.36 times too old for that. Well done Ben.

The organizers are now asking kids age 10-12 to propose the next question for the Flame Challenge. Stay tuned.

This reminds me of the famous lectures of Faraday given in 1860's to kids/juveniles in London on a very similar theme, The Chemical history of a Candle.