Iridescent Announces the Gravity Design Challenge on Curiosity Machine Inspired by the Warner Bros. Pictures Theatrical Release of GRAVITY

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Iridescent, a science and engineering education non-profit, announced the Gravity Design Challenge, a STEM-based contest for teens, in conjunction with the Warner Bros.

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Through our partnership with Warner Bros. Pictures, we are encouraging families around the country to take an active interest in science, engineering and space exploration through a fun and creativity-inspiring contest.

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Iridescent, a science and engineering education non-profit, announced the Gravity Design Challenge, a STEM-based contest for teens, in conjunction with the Warner Bros. Pictures release of GRAVITY, starring Academy Award® winners Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, in theaters October 4, 2013. The month-long Gravity Design Challenge runs through September 10th and is hosted on Iridescent’s online science studio, Curiosity Machine, providing a hands-on learning opportunity in science and engineering. The Gravity Design Challenge invites teens to create a Rube Goldberg machine rocket that will simulate a space mission and orbit of the earth. The grand prize winner will receive complimentary travel and four tickets to the New York movie premiere on or about October 1st.

In the Gravity Design Challenge, participants between the ages of 13 and 18 in the United States (excluding Arizona) and the District of Columbia will learn astrophysics and engineering design principles, while developing the persistency it takes to invent.

The Gravity Design Challenge on Curiosity Machine includes three steps:
1.    watch a video explaining scientific concepts and the engineering challenge
2.    experiment at home with parents to design and create an invention
3.    submit photos and videos of the creation to receive feedback from mentoring engineers and scientists, and progress through levels from builder, to engineer to inventor.

Volunteer mentors, including professional engineers, faculty and students from a variety of organizations, including Boeing, Columbia University, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, USC, and University of San Francisco, will provide feedback to Gravity Design Challenge participants through the submission period. A panel of experts from the astrophysics field will judge the final entries.

“The Gravity Design Challenge encourages teens to observe their world, ask questions and innovate, and is a great example of the type of hands-on family science programs we’ve done best at Iridescent. Through our partnership with Warner Bros. Pictures, we are encouraging families around the country to take an active interest in science, engineering and space exploration through a fun and creativity-inspiring contest,” said Tara Chklovski, Founder and CEO of Iridescent.

To learn more about Gravity Design Challenge, visit http://curiositymachine.org, watch this video, and follow #GravityDesignChallenge on Twitter.

About Iridescent
Since 2006, Iridescent, has implemented a scalable model of science and technology exploration that has helped more than 17,000 underserved families through mentorship and hands-on family science programs. Through its science project website, the Curiosity Machine, as well as the world’s largest and longest-running tech competition exclusively for girls, Technovation Challenge, Iridescent’s mission is to use science, technology, engineering and math to develop persistent curiosity and to show that knowledge is empowering.

About Gravity
Academy Award® winners Sandra Bullock (“The Blind Side”) and George Clooney (“Syriana”) star in “Gravity,” a heart-pounding thriller that pulls you into the infinite and unforgiving realm of deep space. The film was directed by Oscar® nominee Alfonso Cuarón (“Children of Men”). Bullock plays Dr. Ryan Stone, a brilliant engineer on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalski (Clooney). But on a seemingly routine spacewalk, disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalski completely alone—tethered to nothing but each other and spiraling out into the blackness. The deafening silence tells them they have lost any link to Earth…and any chance for rescue. As fear turns to panic, every gulp of air eats away at what little oxygen is left. But the only way home may be to go further out into the terrifying expanse of space. “Gravity” was written by Alfonso Cuarón & Jonás Cuarón, and produced by Alfonso Cuarón and David Heyman (the “Harry Potter” films). Chris deFaria, Nikki Penny and Stephen Jones served as executive producers.

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