NEW YORK CITY—The Google Science Fair is a bit different from the science fairs of yesteryear.
For one thing, it’s open to students around the world, whose entries will be submitted online as videos or slide shows. And the prizes are a tad snazzier than a blue ribbon.
Scientific American, along with Lego,National Geographic and CERN, the European lab for particle physics, is a partner in the science fair, which kicked off with a launch event at Google’s offices here on January 11. The winner of the contest, which is open to entrants age 13 to 18, will receive, among other goodies, a $50,000 scholarship, a 10-day trip to the Galápagos Islands (where Charles Darwin did some of his most important fieldwork) and a virtual internship at Lego or a three-day site visit to CERN, Google or Scientific American.
“Kids can be just terrific at doing science,” said Mariette DiChristina, Scientific American‘s editor in chief, who served as emcee for the launch event and is one of the contest’s judges. Young people ask great questions, offer fresh viewpoints, and bring “energy to learn, a passion to learn and a drive to learn,” DiChristina said. “What if we harnessed that kid power to tackle our problems as a nation and around the globe?”