Google launches the first global online science fair

Google Science Fair gives budding scientists ages 13 – 18 the chance to show their work on an international and virtual stage.

Google has opened registration for Google Science Fair, which it says is the first global online science competition. It’s open to kids all over the world between the ages of 13 and 18. The announcement came with this video of an incredible Rube Goldberg machine built for Google:

The competition is not just about things that look cool, however. It’s about students doing science. On the Google Science Fair website, the company explains that it’s looking for “the brightest, best young scientists from around the world to submit interesting, creative projects that are relevant to the world today.” Ya!

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In other words, they’re not looking for the world’s best model volcano. When I attended the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair two years ago, I was amazed with the level of science the students were doing. Many had spent time in professional labs completing complex chemical analyses or creating their own energy-saving devices or medical technologies. Simply put, my mind was blown. So I’m looking forward to seeing what projects Google pulls out from a pool of entrants who only need internet access and a web browser to submit their projects.

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And yes, there are fabulous prizes, including a 10-day trip to the Galapagos with National Geographic Expeditions, scholarships from Google, and a “once-in-a-lifetime” visit to CERN, among desirable awards.

The deadline for submissions is April 4, 2011, and winners will be announced in early July.

For more information about the Google Science Fair, watch this video.

Lindsay Patterson