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Curiosity Challenge 2020 – Cambridge Science Festival

Curiosity Challenge 2020

Congratulations 2020 Winners!

Although we had to cancel our 10-day Festival, we have not cancelled the Curiosity Challenge Awards. This year we received nearly 4000 entries from students across Massachusetts and beyond. 180 student winners were selected, along with a 2020 Curious Scientist and Curious teacher. Please check out the winning entries, learn about this year’s winners, and join us in celebrating curiosity!


Photo credit mneyid.com

About the Challenge

Calling all 5-14 year olds! The Curiosity Challenge is an annual contest that kicks off in the fall of each year, with entries due in February. Write an essay or poem, create a drawing, take a picture about your curiosity and tell us how it prompted you to explore your world.

What was before the big bang? How are we able to “see” things in our head? Scientists are driven by curiosity, and we want to know what YOU are curious about!


Winners will be honored at the Curiosity Awards Ceremony. Winners' work will be published in the annual Curiosity Challenge book!

Additional entries will exhibited at a Cambridge Community Television (CCTV) gallery show. Stay tuned for dates and details!


Photo credit mneyid.com

2020 Winners

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Arlington Hardy Elementary School Ms. Tassone Ashland Henry Warren Elementary School Ms. Forrest Attleboro Coelho Middle School Ms. Crawford | Ms. Irving | Ms. Phillips | Ms. Winter Hill-Roberts Elementary School Ms. Amancio | Ms. Irving | Ms. Scott Wamsutta Middle School Ms. Cannata | Ms. Chase | Ms. Dawson | Ms. Gustafson | Ms. Souza Willett Elementary School Ms. Bower | Ms. Carroll | Ms. Gattoni | Ms. Slater | Ms. White | Ms. Wilds Belmont Burbank Elementary School Ms. Atlas Chenery Middle School Ms. Nitchie Boston British International School of Boston Ms. Bramhill | Ms. Brick | Mr. Callaghan | Ms. Dolan | Ms. Reilly | Ms. Staples | Mr. Tugwell | Mr. Wallace | Mr. Ward-Penny | Ms. Yeardley German International School of Boston Ms. Isidro | Ms. Schlegel | Mr. Zahrte Josiah Quincy Elementary Mr. Amara | Ms. Cao | Ms. Gee | Mr. Lydon | Ms. Postma | Ms. Ruhling | Ms. Szeto | Ms. Terranova Winthrop Elementary Ms. Giddings Brewster Stony Brook Elementary School Mr. Kehoe Brookline The Park School Ms. Armour | Ms. Buzby | Ms. Lee | Ms. Offen Burlington Memorial Elementary School Ms. Burnham | Ms. Ioakimidis Mount Hope Christian School Ms. Polson Cambridge Amigos School Ms. Ferhani Benjamin Banneker Charter School Ms. Danahy | Ms. Ford | Ms. Hester | Ms. Janus | Ms. Juengst | Mr. Martinko | Ms. Weekes | Ms. Williams | Mr. Wilson Cambridgeport School Ms. Griggs East End House Ms. Kim Fletcher Maynard Academy Mr. Astrucio | Ms. Basu | Ms. Chao | Ms. Coulson | Ms. Niles | Ms. O’Donnell | Ms. Powell | Ms. Tucker | Ms. Tuttle | Ms. Waddell | Ms. Williams Graham & Parks School Ms. Marshall Haggerty School Ms. Faucher | Ms. Kuo | Ms. Moloney | Ms. Stewart Rindge Avenue Upper School Mr. Mahoney Tobin Montessori School Ms. Desimone Canton John F. Kennedy School Ms. Donovan | Ms. Pallotto Carver Carver Elementary School Mr. Baldo | Ms. Burr | Ms. Champignie | Ms. Harkins | Mr. MacEachen | Ms. Smith | Ms. Swanton | Ms. Thomas Chelsea Hooks School Ms. Chiminello Dedham Greenlodge School Ms. Patts Oakdale Elementary School Ms. Atkinson | Ms. Campo | Ms. Delendeck | Ms. Morrill | Ms. Nihill | Ms. O’Brien | Ms. Stec | Ms. Sullivan | Ms. Ward Douglas Douglas Middle School Ms. GravesonPayne East Boston Donald McKay School Ms. Briggs Easton Easton Middle School Ms. Finch | Ms. Folan | Ms. Stearns Everett Parlin School Ms. Crossley Pioneer Charter School Ms. Morris St. Anthony School Ms. Cox Framingham Potter Road School Ms. Langmeyer | Ms. Maida | Ms. Weiss Germantown, MD Great Seneca Creek Elementary School Ms. Abreu Grafton Millbury St. Elementary School Ms. Nanduri Homeschooled in RIMs. Smith Hooksett, NH Hooksett Memorial School Ms. Tremblay Hyannis Hyannis West Elementary School Ms. Walker Kingston Kingston Intermediate School Ms. Brainard | Ms. Gren Lawrence Lawrence Family Development Charter Ms. Lu Lexington Diamond Middle School Ms. Taraz Longmeadow Meadow Brook School Ms. Wint Mansfield Jordan Jackson School Ms. Freedman Medfield Ralph Wheelock School Ms. Cawley Melrose Winthrop Elementary Ms. Constantine | Ms. Ogiba Milton Pierce Middle School Ms. Dow | Ms. Duggan | Ms. Lauria | Ms. Meleedy New Bedford St. James St. John School Ms. Costa | Ms. Marco | Ms. Medeiros | Ms. Vareika Newton Jackson Walnut Park School Ms. Melisi | Ms. Sullivan North Andover Atkinson Elementary School Ms. Rivenburg Norwood CJ Prescott Elementary School Ms. Marcotte Orleans Orleans Elementary School Ms. Farber Richland, WA Home Link. Richland WA Ms. Sturgess Roslindale Haley Pilot School Ms. Caffrey | Ms. Carter Roxbury Malik Academy Ms. Yassin | Ms. Morad | Ms. Omran | Ms. Richardson | Ms. Yusuf Shrewsbury Spring Street School Ms. Doherty | Ms. Luby | Ms. Tavers | Ms. Wilder | Ms. Zambernardi Somerville East Somerville Community School Ms. Navarro Swansea ES Brown Elementary Ms. Lamoureaux Walpole Fisher School Ms. Fomenko Waltham MacArthur Elementary School Ms. Borden | Ms. Taraz Northeast School Ms. Connolly | Ms. Crotti | Ms. Hache | Mr. Hoyt | Ms. Lipka | Ms. Madsen | Ms. Morrison | Ms. Muscato | Ms. Wilbur Westborough Armstrong Elementary School Ms. Rosenfield Hastings Elementary Ms. Nicolazzo Winchester McCall Middle School Ms. Capobianco-Burns | Ms. DiMare | Ms. Haddadin | Ms. Taylor Worcester Sullivan Middle School Ms. Ey

Each year we honor a Curious Scientist and  Curious Teacher.

Please join us in congratulating the 2020 winners!

2020 Curious Scientist

Kimberly Kowal Arcand

Kimberly Kowal Arcand

Visualization & Emerging Tech Lead, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian
Although Kim Arcand dreamed of being an astronaut when she was young, she was working in molecular biology and public health when she was offered a job working for NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory in 1998. This opportunity got Kim close to the cosmos but without the long-distance commute astronauts have! She accepted the job and has worked for NASA ever since. Today, Kim uses data to tell stories about science, whether in the form of a 3D print of an exploded star, a book about light, or a Virtual Reality application for high-energy astrophysics. She is curious about all kinds of things, and is an award-winning producer and director, a leading expert in studying the perception and comprehension of high-energy data visualization across the novice-expert spectrum. As a science data storyteller she combines her background in molecular biology and computer science with her current work in the fields of astronomy and physics.

2020 Curious Teacher

Eric Prileson

Eric Prileson

Science Teacher, Madeline Duggar Andrews Middle School, Medford, MA
Mr. Prileson teaches science to 7th graders and is also the Outing and Environmental Club Adviser. As you can probably guess, he enjoys the outdoors, as well as playing music and sports with his friends. These are lifelong interests for Mr. Prileson. As a child, he loved sports and baseball and was curious about how pitchers could throw 90+ mph. He also liked learning about nature, especially birds. Mr. Prileson didn’t always know he wanted to be a teacher. After college, he started blogs about science and history and realized he loved explaining concepts to other people and saw a future for himself in teaching. He is inspired by his students and their love of learning, and stays energized by performing demonstrations, setting up labs, and bringing fresh science from the world into his classroom. He works hard to engage his students in doing science, rather than just learning content, and instills a passion for scientific exploration in his students that is rare among middle school classes.