SPARK is a project of the Society for Science & the Public, in collaboration with the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation that will inspire adults, through the challenge of competition, to generate a new set of experiences and activities that capture children's imagination in science, spark and fuel their interests, and foster persistent curiosity and creativity. -
Here's the next level of detail:
Decades ago, the chemistry set helped children explore their curiosity and fostered a spirit of discovery. Scientists often attribute their childhood use of chemistry sets as critical fuel for their early interest in science and, ultimately, their pursuit of a career and lifelong engagement in science. Of course, the chemistry set wasn’t the only experience that provided entry to the world of science. Children got hooked on science through opening up and exploring the circuitry inside discarded electronics. They took apart clocks to figure out how inner gears enabled telling time. They turned over rocks to explore what lived beneath and studied patterns of ant trails.
But these experiences are becoming increasingly rare. The exciting chemicals in classic chemistry sets are illegal, fewer kids are playing in creeks and collecting bugs from backyards, and devices such as computers and clocks have become sealed, digital black boxes. While we have greater access to information and content than any generation before us, we are at risk of losing the inspiration that makes much of that content meaningful.Here's what's at stake: Up to $50,000 for the winning entry.
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[Hat tip: O'Reilly Radar]