For 14 years Alda hosted a PBS program titled, Scientific American Frontiers, which brought cutting edge science into the homes of Americans. Alda went on to create the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University in New York. A yearly science communication competition, known as "The Flame Challenge," is one of the projects of the Alan Alda Center.
The Flame Challenge is an international competition in which scientists answer a technical question in a clear and entertaining way, specifically geared toward an audience of 11-year-olds. Launched in 2012, The Flame Challenge began with Alan Alda’s own childhood query, "What is a flame?"The challenge for 2017 is to explain the concept of energy. Think you can do it? If you're a teacher, get your students involved in the 2017 "What is Energy?" question, click here.