But Nick Williams, a Lab retiree and Fun With Science presenter in the Public Affairs Office, spends a lot of time explaining science concepts to 5th grade students. That activity has paid off.
Williams has been selected as a finalist in the 2013 Flame Challenge, an international contest that asks scientists to communicate complex science in ways that interest and inform an 11-year-old. The contest is sponsored by the Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University.
This year's challenge question "What is time?" prompted Williams and hundreds of other scientists from around the globe to respond with answers.
Williams' entry (#154) was selected as one of the top 6 finalists in two categories, written and video. As a finalist in the written category, he is competing with two other entries.
The Flame Challenge began last spring when actor, author and science enthusiast Alan Alda challenged scientists around the world to explain a query from his childhood: "What is a flame?"
Voting is open to fifth grade students in registered judging schools. Students can vote for their favorite in two categories: written and video. Voting which began in April, continues through May 5.
Nearly 20,000 students will judge the entries, including kids from Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, South America and 38 states in the U.S. The 2013 Flame Challenge winners will be announced at the World Science Festival June 2 in New York.