Sophia and Bill Nye "The Science Guy" Launch Summer Challenge to Combat Brain Drain

Students Can Complete Tutorials and Quizzes for Chance to Win an iPad, Download Science Experiments and Follow the Latest Mars Mission

Jun 05, 2012, 07:00 ET from Sophia

MINNEAPOLIS, June 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Sophia and Bill Nye "The Science Guy" have teamed up to offer a variety of free educational tools that will keep kids' minds active during the summer months when students can lose up to 40 percent of what they learned the previous year. Kids are invited to visit to participate in the Sophia Summer Challenge, learn about science through a variety of experiments they can do at home and learn about the Mars Science Laboratory Mission.


"It is a well-known fact that summer causes brain drain for many students, however it doesn't have to be that way," said Steve Anastasi, interim CEO of, an innovative online social education platform that offers 25,000 free academic tutorials on math, science, English and more. "Summer actually is the perfect time for kids to take a break from the traditional classroom schedule and with our new partner Bill Nye, we've developed many activities to keep them engaged, learning and even entertained."

With the average school break lasting about 100 days, Sophia has partnered with Bill Nye to help keep kids learning throughout the summer. Nye has spent the past 20 years educating students young and old about science and understands the importance of keeping their minds active after the last school bell rings.

"Learning can happen anywhere and at anytime – the important thing is that it should never stop," Nye said. "We've put together fun, free and easy activities that will make this the summer of learning versus the summer filled with the dreaded words 'I'm bored.' "

Expand your Brain with the Sophia Summer Challenge
Beginning today, students 13 or older can participate in the Sophia Summer Challenge by completing tutorials and quizzes within Sophia's learning pathways for the chance to win an iPad. Students register online, choose a learning pathway offered in one of many math subjects and either sharpen their skills or learn something new. Learning pathways are available in many subjects including basic math, Algebra 1, geometry, calculus, statistics and more. Prizes will be awarded weekly during the 8-week challenge that runs from June 5-July 29, 2012. (Complete sweepstakes rules can be found at

Experiment with Science
Science is a subject that many kids fail to retain over the summer months. Sophia has developed a Bill Nye library that features 40 science experiments that students can do at home over the summer break. From making a Twistin' Tornado and growing mold to making marbled paper and learning why things float differently in lakes than in oceans, the interactive home demos provide visual representations of how science is all around us.

"I have always believed that we need to take science out of the textbook and make it interactive and fun," Nye said. "With just a few items around the home, kids can see science in action."

Learn About Space Exploration with the Mars Science Laboratory Mission
Nye also is the CEO of the Planetary Society and is raising awareness for the latest Mars Mission, which has the Curiosity rover landing on the planet on August 5. Nye and Sophia have developed content about the mission that will be updated and expanded throughout the summer months so students can learn about the mission and space exploration.

"From outer space to basic math, Sophia offers a wealth of information that is free, easy to use and educational," Anastasi said. "Challenge your kids to spend just a fraction of their online time learning to exercise their brain and also expand their minds."

To learn more, visit

About Sophia
Sophia is a first-of-its-kind social education platform that offers students many ways to learn by making free, credible academic content available to anyone, anywhere, at anytime. The site offers more than 25,000 tutorials created by hundreds of teachers and experts taught in a variety of ways. The platform further enhances the learning process by offering quizzes, assessing learning preferences and providing learning paths that lead students from one topic to the next so students of all ages can learn the way they learn best. Sophia is owned by Capella Education Company. For more information, visit

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES (D.C.) 13 YEARS AND OLDER. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sweepstakes ends 7/29/12. For Official Rules, prize descriptions and odds disclosure, visit Sponsor: Sophia Learning LLC, 110 N. 5th Street, Suite 520, Minneapolis, MN 55403.

Contact: Laura Telander Graf