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Post by Kaere on Wed Dec 03, 2014 5:46 am

It's been said (Einstein, I believe) that if you can't explain something so a child can understand it, you don't really understand the subject yourself.

Can you explain sleep to a child? The annual Flame Challenge contest asks scientists "to explain complex concepts in ways a child can understand".

http://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/actor-turned-prof-alan-alda-challenges-scientists-to-explain-sleep-to-children-1.2128939

MINEOLA, N.Y. -- Actor-turned-part-time professor Alan Alda has a new challenge for scientists: Explain sleep to an 11-year-old.

The television and film star best known for his role in the 1970s sitcom "MASH" has had a lifelong interest in science.

The New York native teaches at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University on Long Island.

He started the annual "Flame Challenge" contest in 2011. It asks scientists to explain complex concepts in ways a child can understand.

The first year sought an answer to "What is a flame?" That was followed by challenges to explain time and colour.

Scientists have until Feb. 13 to submit their answers about sleep in writing, video or graphics.

The winning written and video or graphic entries will receive $1,000 cash prizes.

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Post by Rogue on Wed Dec 03, 2014 6:48 am

...if you can't explain something so a child can understand it, you don't really understand the subject yourself

Good concept. Maybe even politicians could try this.
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Post by Lenzabi on Wed Dec 03, 2014 7:42 am

@Rogue wrote:
...if you can't explain something so a child can understand it, you don't really understand the subject yourself

Good concept. Maybe even politicians could try this.

Politicians would suffer more brain lock than they do now. Twisted Evil

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Warning!: Those who knock on Dragon's doors un-announced may be flame broiled, unless they bear chocolate/wine, or good foods
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Once they have tried scales, everything else pales! Twisted Evil
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Post by Monk (in hiding) on Wed Dec 03, 2014 7:52 am

Simple is difficult.

Words are like talking to the moon by pointing your finger at it.

Flame Challenge contest Finger-moon-hotei

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Post by Rockhopper on Wed Dec 03, 2014 1:01 pm

@Rogue wrote:
...if you can't explain something so a child can understand it, you don't really understand the subject yourself

Good concept. Maybe even politicians could try this.
I agree Roggie.

Having spent many years around Scientists I realise that they speak a language of their own! Sometimes they need a good translator!  Cool

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Post by Agartha on Wed Dec 03, 2014 3:32 pm

What a great challenge! And it is so true...... how many time we really have to think hard when we want to explain something to a child and we want them to understand it?

I love how the winner of the 'time' challenge explained time.... very clever:

Time has a lot of definitions; like time is history or time is age. But, have we ever considered a good definition? I have. Here’s my definition. And no, I did not get this from some book or online. It’s just something that makes sense to me. I think of time as Forward Movement. Think about it! Everything moves forward, from the universe to every second of your life. And because everything moves forward, man developed a way to keep track of this Forward Movement and called it time. Man also invented clocks to keep a precise log of this Forward Movement in years, days, hours, minutes, seconds, and even parts of seconds. I’ll always continue to think of time as Forward Motion. I’ll also think of it as a Forward Motion that will never change, will never stop, and can never be reversed.
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