Science-y Contests: Put On Your Dancing Shoes & Take A Lucky Guess

Two contests are afoot that chemists—particularly grad students—shouldn’t miss. Why? Well, there’s the eternal glory that comes with being victorious. But there’s also some cash and an iPad in it for the winners. And let’s face it, grad students can use all the free cash and prizes they can get. Contest 1: Dance Your Ph.D. Newscripts publicized this competition, sponsored by AAAS, earlier this year. The deadline is fast approaching. If you want to enter, you need to translate your Ph.D. project into a dance by October 1. There are four categories into which twinkle-toed grad students can place their submissions: chemistry, physics, biology, and social sciences. The top entry in each category gets $500. But that’s not all! The overall winner gets another $500 as well as travel and accomodation to attend TEDxBrussels, in Belgium, on Nov. 12. There, the danciest dancer—the Gene Kelly of Ph.D.s, if you will--will be crowned for all to see. The Newscripts gang would like to see chemists once again take the top prize, proving without a doubt that the central science is where it’s at, so get your submissions in soon! Contest 2: 70 Millionth Substance Contest According to the counter here, Chemical Abstracts Service--the division of the American Chemical Society that finds, collects, and organizes chemical information--has now entered more than 68,447,000 substances in its registry. To celebrate the day when the organization will add its 70 millionth chemical substance to the database, CAS is holding a little guessing competition. The division thinks the organic or inorganic entity in question will be registered either at the end of this year or early next year. Your job is to predict the date and time the lucky substance gets added. Prizes vary depending on when you submit your answer, but you could potentially win an iPad, Nook, or Kindle Fire. If the precise date and time isn’t guessed correctly, CAS goes into “The Price Is Right” mode and gives the award to the guess closest to the date and time the substance was added without going over. Take a look at the rules for entry here. And study them closely, Daniel-san. You MUST put your guess into the contest form by Nov. 16 or by the time the counter reaches 69.8 million substances—whichever comes first. CAS’s registry hit 50 million back on Sept. 7, 2009. You can read about that milestone here.   Do us proud, Newscripters. And if you win, do let us know (we’ll only take a little bit of the credit).

Author: Lauren Wolf

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