October 15, 2013 (Palo Alto, Calif.) – The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, in collaboration with Society for Science&the Public (SSP) today 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 (SPARK) Competition 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.
“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 SPARK competition seeks creative ideas for modern science exploratory experiences that are accessible and spark a child’s imagination. The Moore Foundation and SSP believe the contest will result in ideas that will ignite a new generation of great scientific minds and science enthusiasts.
The competition is searching for entrants from all walks of life, from elementary school teachers to tenured professors and digital developers to graduate students. The contest 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.
The deadline for the Tekla Labs Build My Lab Contest is 16 December 2013 and I've attempted to include as much DIY lab ware as time permitted. For any lab ware that I didn't have time to document here, you can go to www.science20.com and in the search box on the upper right type "science play and research kit" and click the go button. I have written several other DIY articles, so feel free to browse my column: http://www.science20.com/square_root_not.