Mar 23, 2011

The Google Science Fair Experiment

Google is looking for the brightest, “best young scientists from around the world” to submit interesting, creative projects for a chance to win an amazing 10-day trip to the Galapagos Islands and up to $50,000 in scholarship money.

Labeled an “experiment” by its sponsors, the Google Science Fair is not to be confused with local ISEF or JSHS sponsored science fairs several of which took place recently in Fairfax and Montgomery Counties.

Departing from more traditional formats, the Google Science Fair is initially web-based. In a truly unique international forum, students all over the world between the ages of 13 and 18 are invited to compete using a Google Site to showcase a science fair project.

To enter, students must
  1. Create a Google account.

  2. Complete the Google Science Fair sign up form and follow the assigned link to a Google project submission site.

  3. Plan a science fair project; conduct an experiment, and document results.

  4. Complete all sections of the of the project submission site.

  5. Create either a two-minute video or a 20-slide presentation giving an overview of the project and embed it on the summary page of the project submission.

  6. When the project site is complete, submit it no later than April 4, 2011.

All projects will be initially judged by a panel of teachers. In early May, 60 global semi-finalists will be narrowed down by Google’s panel of judges to 15 finalists, who will be announced later in May.

The 15 finalists will be flown to Google Headquarters in California for a celebratory science fair event and a final round of judging. Finalists will be expected to present their projects before a panel of acclaimed scientists including Nobel Laureates, “tech visionaries and household names.” A winner will be selected from each of the age categories: 13-14, 15-16, and 17-18. And one lucky finalist will be named the Grand Prize Winner.

At this stage of the game, the Google Science Fair is best suited for students who already have a project “on the shelf.” And even if you were unsuccessful locally or at other large national competitions, this is your opportunity to give your work a second chance in a different forum.

By the way, if you’re a budding scientist looking for inspiration, check out the Google Science Fair Blog for reasons scientists do what they do.

Developed in partnership with CERN, Lego, National Geographic, and Scientific American, the science fair “experiment” is an impressive undertaking and a great deal of thought has gone into making it attractive to a large number of students. To learn more about what it takes to submit a project, visit the Google Science Fair website.

For the news behind the news, check out the College Explorations Facebook page.

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