Google's Worldwide Science Fair

Say what you will about Google‘s empire growing too big and dominant over the web, but every now and then they do something… awesome. (Yes I know, “awesome” is the world’s most over-used word, but in this case it’s perfectly applicable.)

Google has cooked up an amazing idea: they’re holding the world’s first-ever global Science Fair. Scientists, Google believes, should be rock stars, every bit as celebrated and championed as athletes and musicians. And I couldn’t agree more. Young people between the ages of 13 and 18 are now invited to come up with ideas for a submission, and then create a free Google website where they show their work.

Think science fairs ain’t all that? Just wait until you see who’s sponsoring and judging the Science Fair. It’s a group comprised of some of the most brilliant and some of the coolest cats in the world. The Science Fair’s four official sponsors, aside from Google itself, are — get this:

  • CERN: the uber-genius think tank in Europe responsible for the Large Hadron Collider which (so far) has not destroyed the universe.
  • The LEGO Group: aka, creativity incarnate.
  • National Geographic: world-famous magazine known as NatGeo to its friends.
  • Scientific American: the 160-year-old, longest-running magazine in the U.S.

The judges are an eleven member who’s-who panel of all-star scientists, including:

  • Vint Cerf: aka, He Who Fathered the Internet. (Insert your own Al Gore joke here, I’m fresh out.)
  • Rolf-Dieter Heuer: whom I know nothing about, except that he’s the head honcho at CERN, so he’s got to be like, the genius that geniuses fear.
  • Dean Kamen: inventor of the goofy-but-neato Segway Human Transporter, as well as hundreds of other devices that “help people live better lives” (according to his bio).
  • Kary Mullis: the man who invented the DNA technology back in the early 90s that now allows for DNA manipulation in everything from forensic science to genetic cloning. Did I say “man”? I think I meant “evil genius.”
  • Peter Norvig: Google’s Director of Research — an artificial intelligence enthusiast who’s also worked for NASA and Berkeley’s famed Science Department.

If you’re under 18 and ready to change the world, note that all registrants must enter by April 4th of this year, and entrants who submit videos may be highlighted on Google’s Science Fair YouTube Channel. The prizes up for grabs include scholarships, LEGO and Google goodies like Mindstorms robotic sets and Chrome notebooks, internships with CERN, LEGO, and Scientific American, and a grand prize that will send the winner and one guardian to the Galapagos Islands to explore wildlife with National Geographic Expeditions.

For the latest info, I recommend following the Google Science Fair at @googlescifair and facebook.com/googlesciencefair.

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Robin Parrish
@robinparrish

Unathletic, uncoordinated tall man with endless creativity stampeding through his overactive brain. Comes with beard, wife, and two miniature humans. Novelist. General blogger and main Gaming Geek for ForeverGeek. Lead Blogger, Apple Gazette.

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