It’s another “Feel Good Friday” on “Live.” DEREK LUKE talks about SCIENCE GENIUS RAP B.A.T.T.L.E.S, and “Live’s Summer Safety Week” wraps up with Kelly and Ryan discussing precautions to take while grilling this summer, with chef MICHAEL LOMONACO.

Actor and Producer Derek Luke (13 Reasons Why, Antwone Fisher, The Purge); Sophia Luke; and Columbia University Associate Professor and bestselling author, Chris Emdin, took to their social platforms to announce the 2020 Science Genius Rap B.A.T.T.L.E.S. (Bringing Attention to Transforming, Teaching, Learning and Engagement in Science). For the first time, due to the worldwide constraints brought on by COVID-19, the initiative will take place online and made available to everyone, via virtual and digital mediums such as social media and Zoom, through mid-July.

In 2012, Professor Emdin started #HipHopEd, a multi-platform and cross-curricular initiative with a goal of educating stakeholders in education and related fields about the intersections of hip-hop and education. Then in 2013, Derek and Sophia Luke discovered Professor Emdin and joined forces to support the movement, which included the birth of The Science Genius Rap B.A.T.T.L.E.S. The program, which has been tested and proven to be critically effective, focuses on utilizing the power of hip-hop music and culture to introduce youth to the wonder, practicality and beauty of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) subjects and transform how teachers engage with their students.

For the last six years, Science Genius has invited students from schools in New York, Texas, Toronto and Kingston, Jamaica to write science-themed raps over hip-hop instrumentals and perform these raps for their peers in classrooms and city-wide battles aimed at identifying the student(s) with the most academically rich content, as well as the most engaging and skilled rap. Past judges and mentors have included Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA, DJ D-Nice, Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Rah Digga among others.

This year, participants can work in collaboration with their teacher and current curriculum or independently to create a rap verse on any scientifically accurate topic—such as the science of COVID-19. The verses will be written to a beat by Grammy winning producer Theron “Neff-U” Feemster, made exclusively for the challenge. Participants can submit themselves via the Science Genius Rap B.A.T.T.L.E.S. Challenge submission form and/or by sharing their process and final performance on social media tagging @ScienceGeniusChallenge on Instagram & TikTok and/or @ScienceGenius_ on Twitter, and use the following hashtags: #ScienceGenius, #RapBattles and #HipHopEd. A panel of expert judges will then select winners in each division and share their genius with the world crowning the final 2020 Science Genius.

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