Center for Digital Education & Converge: research in education technology for K-12 and higher education

What Hit TV Series Inspired a High School Science Challenge?

on November 30, 2012

Answer: Burn Notice

Science teachers across the U.S. worked with the USA Network on the Burn Notice Science Challenge, a national high school competition. The competition tests students' skills in science, technology, engineering and math, and tasks them with solving challenges that the spy characters on the series might tackle.

Individual students or teams of up to three students plus an adviser pick one of three challenges: covertly transmit information to an operative, build an aerial drone to get surveillance on an enemy compound, or create a security system to tip them off when someone breaks into their house.

Students must figure out how household or ordinary materials will work to accomplish their mission. Because the challenge promotes science, technology, engineering and math education, students need to use a scientific principal to approach the problem and at least one of the other three subjects to create their devices.

Once they come up with their idea, they turn in a 1,500-word essay that includes a detailed plan, what materials they would use and why; research and the time it would take to build it. Teams have until Feb. 15, 2013 to submit their entry for the first round. After that, a final round that includes video submissions will determine who wins a $10,000 scholarship and gets to meet cast members of Burn Notice.


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