The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, in collaboration with Society for Science & the Public (SSP) announced the launch of a new competition focused on creating the equivalent of the chemistry set for the 21st Century.
The Science, Play and Research Kit competition, or SPARK, challenges participants to generate a new set of experiences and activities that encourage imagination and interest in science, bringing the spirit of the classic chemistry set to today’s children.
The competition is searching for entrants from all walks of life and encourages anyone interested in sparking children’s curiosity, from elementary school teachers to tenured professors and digital developers to graduate students, to enter. SPARK focuses on science beyond chemistry, seeking ideas for new tools that tap into the spirit of the classic chemistry set and encourage children to wonder how and why the world works. Entries in all fields of science are encouraged.
“Renowned inventors, researchers and innovators – including our co-founder, Gordon Moore –often attribute their early fascination with science to their childhood chemistry sets. More than just toys, these sets often fueled an interest in, a lifelong appreciation for, and a dedication to various fields of science and engineering,” said Steve McCormick, president of the Moore Foundation. “Gordon’s childhood chemistry set ultimately ignited a technology revolution, and new versions of these experiences should kindle the next generation of excited, motivated and science-captivated researchers, explorers and fans.”
The contest, which launches today and will accept submissions through January 7, 2014, is open to all U.S. residents over the age of 18. The top prize for the best science kit prototype is $50,000, with additional prizes given to runners-up and idea submissions.
SPARK encourages participants to submit both prototypes – projects that are operational and demonstrable – and ideations – project ideas that participants have not yet developed but have conceived with enough consideration to be plausible.
Competition details and more information can be found at: www.reimaginechemset.org. An active discussion will be held on Twitter using the hashtag #reimaginetheset.