The winners from the PopSci/InnoCentive challenge--check out these amazing classes any middle-school kid would love to take
By Popular Science EditorsPosted 08.14.2012 at 11:54 am 4 Comments
A year ago, our Popular Science/InnoCentive challenge here on PopSci asked for lesson plans that could be used at the middle-school level in each of five areas of science that will be vital in the future. Materials couldn't cost more than $50, and the lesson needed to fit into no more than three 50-minute classes. Here, we proudly announce the winners and runners-up.
FIRST PLACE Name: Lisa Schmidt, Australia Lesson: Study models of animal bone to understand how to engineer stronger building materials
A great new Popular Science/InnoCentive Challenge was recently posted. The "Seeker," by InnoCentive's terms, is looking to create a new process for reflective, mirrored glass. The idea seems to be for high-end sodas--the packaging would be a very shiny, metallic-looking finish, which is apparently only doable now in "low throughput," meaning, you know, it's hard. Might you be the savior of "premium"-feeling soda bottles? The award for a workable written proposal is $15,000, with a deadline of September 17th. Read about it at InnoCentive.
A great new challenge from InnoCentive, with a nice hefty prize, all centering around improving natural gas operations. Mercury, which as we all know is highly toxic, is present in low concentrations in natural gas. There are lots of methods to remove it, but they could definitely be better--and that's where you come in. If you can figure out a new idea for removing mercury, you'll win $10,000. But hurry up--there are already 54 solvers engaged with the challenge. The deadline for submission is August 19th. Read about it over at InnoCentive.
One month from today--July 1st, 2012--is the deadline for the newest InnoCentive challenge. We're looking for suggestions for new applications of a brand-new, unique material, a cementitious calcium carbonate that is remarkably strong and easy to use. It's got some great potential in architecture, ceramics, physical sciences, life sciences, and pharmaceuticals. There's a guaranteed award on this one, which is great--the best suggestion will receive a prize of $7,000. It's a great challenge, and one really well-suited for you guys--we know there are some great brains out there reading this, and we'd love to see some killer PopSci entries. Read more about it over at InnoCentive.
It's time to get the next generation of scientists thinking about what's important, and you can help. Below are five education challenges chosen by the editors of Popular Science in partnership with InnoCentive, an open-innovation and crowdsourcing firm. We invite you to devise a simple lesson plan for one or more of them. Each plan should be directed at middle-school students, involve at most three 50-minute sessions, and require less than $50 in materials.