The Flame Challenge: Explaining Science to an 11-year-old

Ignite a passion for science and win a prize

Can you answer the 2014 Flame Challenge?

The 2014 Flame Challenges dares scientists to answer a fundamental question about the world around us in a way that an 11-year-old can understand and appreciate. This year's question is, "What is color?"

Answers will be screened for accuracy by scientists and then judged by a panel of 11-year-olds. The entry deadline is March 1, 2014.

Two winners — in written and visual categories — will receive a trip plus VIP tickets to the World Science Festival, May 28 to June 1, in New York City. For rules and other details, visit

The Flame Challenge is a contest conjured up by actor Alan Alda and his friends at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University in New York. It is sponsored by the American Chemical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Update: 2013 Flame Challenge - What is Time?

In 2013, ACS member Steven Maguire won in the visual category. Check out his winning video as well as a short film of him receiving his award from Alan Alda.

Flame Challenge: Explaining Science to an 11-year-old