Last night at Google headquarters, some of the world’s smartest people gathered and most of them aren’t even old enough to drive.
It was the grand finale of the inaugural Google Science Fair, and the 15 teenage finalists impressed and inspired even the highly esteemed panel of judges, which included Google leaders, a Nobel Laureate, and three National Geographic Explorers: T.H. Culhane, Tierney Thys, and Spencer Wells.
Young scientists from around the world had been asked to submit projects online that were creative, innovative, and relevant to the world today. Out of more than 7500 entries, from more than 10,000 young scientists, in more than 90 countries, these 15 had risen to the top. As impressive as all the entries were, there still had to be winners. And these winners, as announced on the official Google Blog are:
- Lauren Hodge in the 13-14 age group. Lauren studied the effect of different marinades on the level of potentially harmful carcinogens in grilled chicken.
- Naomi Shah in the 15-16 age group. Naomi endeavored to prove that making changes to indoor environments that improve indoor air quality can reduce people’s reliance on asthma medications.
- Shree Bose in the 17-18 age group. Shree discovered a way to improve ovarian cancer treatment for patients when they have built up a resistance to certain chemotherapy drugs.
Shree’s groundbreaking and potentially lifesaving work also garnered her the Grand Prize, consisting of a $50,000 scholarship, a National Geographic Expeditions trip to the Galápagos Islands and an internship at CERN. The others both received $25,000 scholarships and internships at Google and LEGO.
The awards ceremony followed months of research, experiments, preliminary fairs, and a day of the young scientists presenting their projects for the judges, friends, family, and others who simply came to see the show. Now that it’s over there’s just one thing to do: if you’re between the ages of 13 and 18, start planning your project for next year!