Science competitions aren’t limited to innovation prizes and science fairs. There are two recently announced contests focused on the contestant’s ability to explain.
Perhaps borrowing a page from Alan Alda, Scientific American is partnering with Scivee, a video sharing site focused on science, for the Iron Egghead competition. The challenge: explain a part, process or system of the human body in a video that runs two minutes or less. Contestants are also limited in the props they can use. A panel of judges will recognize a winner and two runners-up, and there will be a separate award for a video selected by viewers. The first 100 eligible submissions will also receive a digital subscription to Scientific American. Videos are due by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on October 31.
This next competition has a bit more than bragging rights at stake. The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) announced the Stand Up for Science competition last month. Any entries must be started by November 10th. The challenges is to develop “the most effective demonstration of how research funded by NIH, NSF, and other federal agencies improves the health, quality of life, or economy in local communities.” FASEB is an association of 26 scientific societies in biomedical disciplines.
However, they aren’t looking for what might be considered the typical science entry. The organizers want public demonstrations/outreach projects to enter the competition. Suggestions on the website include rallies, games and flash mobs, as well as more traditional venues like science fairs, demonstrations and exhibits. The prize money is substantial, with a $10,000 Grand Prize, a $5,000 Runner-up Prize, and five $2,000 Honorable Mentions.
Happy competing, everyone. Now if only such efforts would get on the list of criteria for tenure.