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World’s First Online Science Fair

World’s First Online Science Fair

This week, Google launched the first ever global online science fair. It’s targeted at children between the ages of 13-18, and all that’s required is to upload your English language entry using online access. The guidelines and rules are here. You can submit anything you can explain in a slideshow presentation or video until April 4, 2011.

Sixty semi-finalists will be chosen by a panel of esteemed judges and then further winnowed. Their projects will be posted online for everyone to look at. 15 finalists will win a trip to Google in Silicon Valley to give their presentations in person to the judges. Up to $110,000 in scholarship money will be awarded, and there’s at least one prize that involves a trip to the Galapagos Islands.

Google has lined up some pretty impressive partners: CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research), LEGO, National Geographic, and Scientific American.

As for very young children’s ability to do real science, take a look at these examples.

  • In December, [2010] a class of children in the U.K., aged 8-10 years old, made novel discoveries about how bees perceive shapes and colors. Their work was published in a scientific peer-reviewed journal.
  • Earlier this month, 10-year-old Kathryn Aurora Gray of New Brunswick, Canada, was the youngest person to discover a supernova.

Tell the curious kid who always wants to know why and how that they now have an outlet.

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Photo credit: Science Olympiad, Wikimedia Commons

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8:34PM PST on Jan 16, 2011

thanks for the great article.

11:25AM PST on Jan 16, 2011

Thanks for this Cynthia. A great idea, but - hopefully there will be watchful eyes. We sure are in need of fresh, new ideas and this is the future generation taking part!
Please keep us posted on this one.

11:05AM PST on Jan 16, 2011

AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME!!! This is the coolest thing I've heard since Chaos Theory! With more big biz involvement like this in the promotion of pure education, to say nothing of reenergizing the whole science-fair concept, we may have a viable patch for our aging and ailing public education system.

This is a great example of creating the desire within the kids themselves to explore, to learn, and to create; and for any kid who is interested, all they need is internet access, which is free with a library card (and available at most schools as well).

It's also a great way for Google to ensure that there will be well-educated scientific and "techie" minds available in the future to keep all the techie companies like Google running smoothly. And if we're all very lucky, this could end up being an annual event.

Damn! I'm too old for this, or I'd be on it in a New York minute!!!

5:21PM PST on Jan 15, 2011

Thanks for the article.

2:32PM PST on Jan 15, 2011

Good idea.

2:26PM PST on Jan 15, 2011

Interesting, thanks.

12:18PM PST on Jan 15, 2011

I see much cheating on this as there is in any science fair but this lends itself even further to abuse.

12:01PM PST on Jan 15, 2011

Great idea. A science lab in the clouds.

11:40AM PST on Jan 15, 2011

Hey everyone, thanks for commenting! Please fwd the story to everyone you know. This is a big positive way to support kids, education, and exploratory science research. Feel good about getting the word out, and maybe giving the next Einstein her start!

11:10AM PST on Jan 15, 2011

Brilliant and proof that we should not categorize children by age, but their capacity to understand and think..which is a lot more developed than the majority of adults..Just look around you!

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