Sugar, gelatin and science collide in the annual #PeepYourScience contest — a challenge to craft scientific dioramas out of sticky marshmallow Peeps.
This year's contest, hosted by the nonprofit organization The Open Notebook, will run from Feb. 15 to March 21.
The competition's organizers playfully call the event "the world's finest science-themed Peeps diorama contest" — of course, it's the only contest of its kind. Given the array of colorful entries from the past two years, one can expect the 2021 contest to garner just as many creative displays of sugary confection.
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Last year's winning diorama depicted a day in the life of a sugar-coated data scientist, wherein marshmallow bunnies stood in for researchers as they cleaned, wrangled, modeled and delivered data. The "Peeple's Choice Award" went to a sweet ode to fieldwork; in the diorama, a dog appears to sniff for the poop of carnivorous animals in the Upper Paraná Forest in Argentina, while a Peep biologist follows closely behind.
Other past entries paid homage to famous scientists, such as primatologist Jane Goodall, and mathematicians, like Dorothy Vaughan of NASA. Still others depicted exciting trips to the Museum of Natural "Peepstory" and marshmallow activists discussing climate change at the United Nations. It just goes to show that, with marshmallow as a medium, one can always find new, innovative ways to put science on display.
To submit your own delectable diorama, visit The Open Notebook website, where you can find all of the requirements and instructions for entering. There are separate entry forms for individual submissions and K-12 classrooms.
Live Science senior writer Mindy Weisberger plans to submit her own Peep diorama to this year's contest; we won't give away her idea, but we will reveal that it's space-themed. If you plan to enter, we'd love to see your creations! Post your diorama on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and tag @LiveScience, and we may feature you on our social media pages.
Originally published on Live Science.
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Nicoletta Lanese is the health channel editor at Live Science and was previously a news editor and staff writer at the site. She holds a graduate certificate in science communication from UC Santa Cruz and degrees in neuroscience and dance from the University of Florida. Her work has appeared in The Scientist, Science News, the Mercury News, Mongabay and Stanford Medicine Magazine, among other outlets. Based in NYC, she also remains heavily involved in dance and performs in local choreographers' work.