How fast is the speed of sound at room temperature? This is one of many questions posed to students who participated in The Cube Challenge, an interactive game show experience presented by 3M at the USA Science and Engineering Festival in Washington D.C. and the FIRST Championship in St. Louis. These events – the former a science fair and the latter a robotics competition – together attracted hundreds of thousands of students from across the country for a showcase of all things STEM.
The idea behind The Cube Challenge stemmed from the goal of displaying 3M’s breadth to Generation Z (age six-18), who likely only recognize 3M for Post-it Notes and Scotch tape. Participants were presented with a relatable life moment, introduced to a 3M product or technology that impacts the life moment, and then quizzed with an associated general science question. This game show experience, which took place inside an eight-foot tall, interactive cube, allowed us to highlight how science is the key to improving lives and solving many of the world’s toughest problems.
Over the course of the two events, 2,000 students participated in The Cube Challenge and thousands more watched, often staying to view multiple questions at a time. Friends, parents, teachers and coaches generated excitement on the sidelines by shouting out answers and encouraging the participants. Students walked away with a smile, a Scotchlite slap bracelet, and the inspiration to apply science to the real-world problems encountered around them.
So, do you think you’ve got what it takes to beat The Cube Challenge? Take a look at this question and see.
Do you like going to concerts? You know how your ears are often ringing well after the show has ended? Well, next time you’re at a concert, whether you want to muffle a song you don’t like or just protect your hearing for later in life, 3M science has your back (or more accurately, your ear) with soft ear plugs made from energy absorbing polymer foam. So, here’s your question. What’s the speed of sound at room temperature?
a) 346 meters per second
b) 186,000 miles per second
c) 9.8 meters per second squared
If you said A, you’re ready to take on The Cube Challenge!