What is a flame?
Actor Allan Alda asked this question to his science teacher, who simply replied "oxidation." He has always been a curious person, and answers like this were never satisfying. He, along with Stony Brook University, have been running a competition. They are challenging scientists and engineers to communicate concepts more simply. Scientists submit their explanation and a panel of scientists reviews it for accuracy. Next is the true hurdle, it is judged by 11 year old students for understandably and enjoyment.
The first question posed was "what is a flame." The winner made an animation depicting the various aspects of a flame using boxing lego blocks. Last year scientists were asked to explain time. This year's challenge is to explain what color is.
For more information about the challenge or to see previous winners click here.