Google initiates a science fair for the world

Posted by Mark Raby

Blast away those school auditorium walls because Google is taking the creativity and emerging science acumen from young students and giving them a platform to showcase their work on a global scale.

The entry process is simple. Students can set up their own science project, whatever they want, and then record video of it through Google. Participants can also share documents and other pertinent information through the search giant's wide array of content-sharing services.

The Google science fair is open to all full-time students between the ages of 13 and 18.

"We want to let kids use our online tools so they can participate from anywhere in world. They may be home schooled or live in a remote place or not have a physical science fair in their area," said Google senior product marketing manager Cristin Frodella in an interview with FastCompany.com.

Frodella, who specializes in Google's education outreach, said the idea for an online, worldwide science far has "come up over and over and over again," and the company is now finally ready to launch it.

Kids won't get an easy pass to the final round, though. Judging will be comprised of such heavy-hitting experts as National Geographic's explorer-in-residence, Google's chief Internet evangelist, and other partnering companies like Scientific American, CERN, and Lego.

The fair has kicked off, and is already receiving astounding submissions, like a 15-year-old college student who's created robots to help nurses at a local V.A. hospital.

But not everything needs to be of global importance. Anyone who fits in the age range is welcome to participate. To apply, simply go to Google's Science Fair page for more information, and submit your project by April 4. The top finalists will be flown to Google headquarters in Mountain View, California for an awards ceremony.

There's also an equally astounding prize to match the grandeur of this project. The winner of the online science fair wins a trip to the Galapagos Islands. There's also more than $100,000 in scholarships up for grabs.