News / Science & Technology

Google Searches World for Young Scientists

A screenshot of Google's Science Fair webpage
A screenshot of Google's Science Fair webpage
Faiza Elmasry

The online search engine Google is searching the real world for talented young scientists, engineers and inventors. This week, the company announced the launch of a global competition open to students between the ages of 14 and 18 from anywhere around the world.

In what may become the 21st century model of competition, contestants in the Google Science Fair do not have to be physically in the same place to compete with each other.

"All you need to participate is access to the Internet and imagination," said Entrepreneur Dean Kamen, who's best known as the inventor of the Segway.  "You go to You find the template that tells you how to register. It gives you all the categories that you can compete in. They are very broad; physics, biology, the environment and loads of other ones. Then, you design and build your experiment. You document it in any way you want, including, for instance, YouTube videos. You get it done on line for the judges. "

Those judges will announce the grand prize winner and the top experiments in several age categories on July 11. Kamen says the winners will receive some exciting prizes.

"How about this for prizes: a trip to the Galapagos Islands, a trip to the CERN High Energy Laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland?  How about Google is supplying $100,000 in scholarships and others are supplying internships? This is a really big deal," he added.

Kamen will help select the winners, along with leading scientific thinkers and Nobel laureates.

"What are the judges looking for? What’s going to discern and discriminate the ones that they pick for these final awards? I suppose mostly it’s going to be about imagination and tenacity and effort that really distinguishes a few of these kids. But, I would also point out that every kid that participates is going to be a winner because they learn, they get inspired, they meet other kids," added Kamen.

Kamen says there are two reasons he is encouraging students to participate in the Google Science Fair.

"One is for their own sake, because so many of the jobs of the future that are exciting, so many of the careers of the future that these kids are going to want access to ,are going to require that you have expertise and comfort with science and technology. But the world is also going to win if more kids get involved because we’re facing global environmental issues, global energy issues, sustainability issues, medical issues. We’ve got to create - in the future, through technology - solutions to global problems that are getting bigger everyday."

Kamen is optimistic that today’s young talents will be able to solve tomorrow’s problems. He points out they have more knowledge and better tools than his generation had.

"Sadly, when I was a kid, there was no Internet and there certainly was no Google," noted Kamen.  "I was lucky though, I started tinkering with technology on my own and I started realizing how powerful technology can be at solving real problems. I think kids today are living in a very, very exciting time. There was a time when if you really wanted access all the great information out there, you had to walk to a place and see the stuff, and walk to a place and talk to the experts, but now the Internet makes all that information, all that knowledge, all those people available to everybody."

Registration for the Google Science Fair is open until April 4. Inventor Dean Kamen says he can’t wait to meet the winners, tomorrow’s science champions, who he predicts will make the world a better place.

You May Like

US Companies Pledge Action on Climate Change

Goals include reducing emissions by as much as 50 percent, reducing water usage by 80 percent, and buying 100 percent renewable energy

IMF Bets on China’s Resolve to Reform

IMF announcement already raising questions about just how much Beijing is committed to such reforms

UNICEF: Hidden Epidemic of HIV Among Adolescents

Researchers warn that Asia Pacific nations facing sharp rise in incidence of HIV among adolescents

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?i
Carol Pearson
November 29, 2015 1:23 PM
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs