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Courtesy of George Korir

SPARK

Science Play and Research Kit

Reimagining the Chemistry Kit for the 21st Century

NOTE:  THE INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE AND LINKED PAGES IS UNDER A NEWS EMBARGO UNTIL 12:01 A.M., APRIL 8, 2014.

We are pleased to announce the winners of the Science, Play and Research Kit (SPARK) Competition – a challenge to reimagine the chemistry set for the 21st century.  The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation collaborated with the Society for Science & the Public on this competition, which stimulated the nation’s most creative minds to develop projects and ideas that will encourage children’s imaginations and interest in science and technology.

We believe that children’s inherent curiosity can inspire and motivate them to learn more about the world around them. The classic chemistry kit encouraged previous generations to learn, explore and discover through immersive play; they learned by doing. Scientific innovators – including our co-founder, Gordon Moore – often credit their childhood use of chemistry sets with fueling their early interest in science and, ultimately, their pursuit of a career or lifelong engagement in science. 

Our competition encouraged creative thinkers to reimagine the chemistry set, refocusing attention on the importance of experiences that come from unscripted exploration and tinkering. The results may ultimately lead to a new generation of scientists and science enthusiasts.

Our winners have developed prototypes and ideas that will inspire today’s kids: an actual chemistry set that uses advanced microfluidics technology to safely and cheaply  perform experiments; a toy set that shows kids how their bodies produce electrical signals and opens up the space of neuroscience as an area for children to explore and play; an exploration kit that uses electronic sensors to let kids experiment with physics, environmental energy, biology, chemistry and engineering design; a set of craft-based, “making” kits, which helps boys and girls explore science concepts while trying creative and fun applications; and so much more.

We extend our congratulations and profound thanks not just to the winners, but to all of the entrants in the SPARK Competition for their inspiring ideas and creations.

In the news:

 

SPARK resources

Press release

Winner profiles

Video gallery

Photo gallery

Competition rules

Watch SciShow's "The History (And Future!) of the Chemistry Set"