The Flame Challenge – with Alan Alda

Spend a little time watching spawnlings at work play and you will start to see that science comes naturally to them.

Seriously – science is an art form. It is purely about finding out how and why things happen.

(Oxford Dictionary)

Definition of science (noun)

The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.

Oh my god, that sounds boring to me! But it proves my point.

When you watch your spawnling play and discover new things, most of the time they will apply a systematic approach to learning this new skill or knowledge. Sometimes it is a physical experiment themselves (eg. if I eat 1 fistful of sand, it makes my poo slightly less consistent; but if I eat 2 fistfuls, I will cry with every nappy change). Sometimes it is the approach they take to asking the right questions.

Alan Alda

And thus, Alan Alda is now promoted to Minister of Scientific Learning in my soon-to-be EG World.

Sure, if you recognised his name, you probably started humming “Suicide is Painless” from MASH. Or if you are a slightly younger nerd, you may have recalled his brilliant performance in West Wing.

But did you know that he is a HUGE advocate for science education? Not only is he pushing for less jargon in science (to make it more approachable to general public), but he is thinking of new and innovative ways to encourage the spawnlings to take over the scientific world themselves!!

For example, I command you to check out The Flame Challenge. It is an annual competition to see which scientists can answer a question that explains science to your average 11 year old. This year’s question: What is time?FlameChallenge_WSF_kids2-160x160

Of course, almost-7-year-old Sinister answered this quickly with “Wibbly Wobbly Timey-Wimey stuff”. Nefarious made the appropriate TARDIS handbrake noises. Obviously my EG Parenting skills are not quite up to standard this week.

The winners did a much better job than that. Methinks I need to keep an eye on my competition.

Spawnlings should be encouraged to OWN science. Embrace it. Challenge it. Ask questions. And have your Evil Overlords answer in ways that you understand! Alan Alda is opening up the opportunity to do so, improving in leaps and bounds!

Now I’m feeling kind of slack. I think it is time to return to our Forensic Fridays and rebuild the natural curiousity of my spawnlings. Stay tuned for reports on how to grow back eye-brows overnight.

Minion Musings:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s