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Can You Explain Science with 7 Everyday Items? Enter Our ‘Iron Egghead’ Video Contest

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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Iron Egghead:shoelace,paper clips, rubber band, pen,paper, cup, ball

Credit: Philip Yam

Remember MacGyver from the old TV series? He could build a laser from a pair of eyeglasses, a match, and some dental floss and then mount it on a shark, or so it seemed.

We’re not asking you to do that, exactly. Rather, we thought it’d be fun if science enthusiasts like you could explain science with a fixed set of props, just as the Iron Chef has cooks square off to devise creative dishes using a single ingredient.

Building off our video explainer series Instant Egghead, we’re calling this contest Iron Egghead.

Conducted in partnership with SciVee, a leading science-community video site, we want contestants to explain a part, process or system of the human body in two minutes or less. In addition to appearing on camera, contestants must use:

• Paper (or another equivalent writing surface)

• Pen (or other writing implement, such as a pencil or crayon)

• Rubber bands

• Paper clips

• String (or yarn, wire, etc.)

• Cups (eg., paper, styrofoam, ceramic or other type of container)

• Balls (eg., ping-pong ball, tennis ball, basketball)

A panel of judges will declare a winner, whose video will be featured on the Scientific American website along with runners-up. There will also be a viewer’s choice selection.

The contest starts today and remains open to October 31, 2012. We will announce winners in December. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Ready? Click here to read the official contest rules and guidelines at SciVee, which will also has instructions on how to upload your videos.

Good luck!

Official contest rules, guidelines and entry instructions–click here>>

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING.  To participate in the “Iron Egghead” Video Contest, upload your original video at, beginning June 25, 2012, and ending on October 31, 2012. Winners will be selected on the basis of adherence to the guidelines, the quality of the explanation, originality and production value, each factor applied equally.  Open to users of who are legal U.S. residents 18 years of age and older. Void in Puerto Rico and where prohibited by law. For complete Official Rules, go to Sponsor:  Scientific American, Inc., 75 Varick Street, 9th Floor, New York, NY, 10013.

Philip Yam About the Author: Philip Yam is the managing editor of He is the author of The Pathological Protein: Mad Cow, Chronic Wasting and Other Prion Diseases. Follow on Twitter @philipyam.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  1. 1. DNLee 10:11 am 06/26/2012

    I want to be a judge! LOL

    Link to this

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