University of Maryland Team Submits Entry to Flame Challenge
group of FPE students, research staff and faculty members has
teamed up during the last two weeks of March to prepare a video
response to the question “What is a flame?” The question
was asked by Alan Alda, actor, director, writer and science popularizer,
in the form of an open science-outreach competition organized
by Stony Brook University’s Center for Communicating Science.
This apparently simple question is seen as an example of the type
of challenges faced by engineers and scientists who typically
struggle to communicate to the general public the relevance, interest
and excitement of their work. To make things even worse (as well
as more interesting), the “Flame Challenge” question
was to be answered in a way that an 11-year-old would find intelligible
and maybe even fun.
Because of mid-term exams and Spring Break, the FPE team was composed
mostly of graduate students. The team included Paul Marcus Anderson
(PhD student), Luis Bravo (PhD student), Haiwen Ding (former FPE
graduate, currently a staff member of the UM Maryland Technology
Enterprise Institute), Haiqing Guo (PhD student), Vivien Lecoustre
(Research Associate), Isaac Leventon (PhD student) and Rosalie
Wills (BS student). The team was advised by Professors Stas Stoliarov,
Peter Sunderland and Arnaud Trouvé.
Entries to the “Flame Challenge” were accepted in
different formats, including writing, video or graphics; the FPE
team decided to submit a video. In a matter of a few days, the
FPE team wrote a script, performed several experiments, made video
recordings, enlisted two 10-year-old children (Jamel Johnson and
Anthony Romero) from a local school (Mount Rainier Elementary
School) to recite the text, and produced a movie that was then
submitted by the April 2 deadline.
Entries have been submitted from all over the world and number
up to several hundred (perhaps more than 1,000). Entries will
be judged in part by panels of 11-year-olds (the Center for Communicating
Science is working towards a goal of more than 10,000 young judges).
To learn more on the “Flame Challenge”, visit the
“Flame Challenge” web site, the Center for Communicating
Science web site or listen to the NPR interview of Alan Alda by
Ira Flatow during the Science Friday show recorded on March 23,
For more information on the FPE entry to the “Flame Challenge”
competition and to view videos go to:- http://www.fpe.umd.edu/html/news/news_story.php?id=6396
or please contact: Prof. Arnaud Trouvé
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone:001
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