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Google kicks off 2013 Science Fair, seeks projects to change the world

2012 Google Science Fair Winners.jpeg

July 24, 2012: The winners of the 2012 Google Science Fair receive prizes from Google and partners CERN, LEGO, National Geographic and Scientific American.Andrew Federman / Google

“It’s your turn to change the world.”

The 2013 Google Science Fair -- an online science competition open to students around the globe ages 13 to 18 -- kicked off Wednesday with those words. The ultimate prizes, to be awarded in Sept.: a $50,000 scholarship from Google, a trip to the Galapagos with National Geographic Expeditions, experiences at the world’s biggest atom smasher, and more.

Submissions to change the world are due in the next 90 days. And the youngest scientists can do that as well as their elders, Google said.

“At age 16, Louis Braille invented an alphabet for the blind. When she was 13, Ada Lovelace became fascinated with math and went on to write the first computer program. And at 19, Alexander Graham Bell started experimenting with sound and went on to invent the telephone,” wrote Sam Peter with Google’s Science Fair team in a Wednesday blog post.

“Throughout history many great scientists developed their curiosity for science at an early age and went on to make groundbreaking discoveries that changed the way we live.”

Brittany Wenger, a 17-year-old high school junior from Lakewood Ranch, Fla., was the grand prize winner in 2012. Wenger built a cloud-based tool to help doctors accurately diagnose breast cancer. 

“My enthusiasm for science continues to blossom,” Wenger said at the time. “I expect to major in computer science when I attend college and continue to medical school.” 

Previous winners of the contest tackled issues such as the early diagnosis of breast cancer, improving the experience of listening to music for people with hearing loss and cataloguing the ecosystem found in water, Google noted.

“This year we hope to once again inspire scientific exploration among young people and receive even more entries for our third competition.”

The deadline for submissions is April 30, 2013. In June, Google will announce a list of the 90 regional finalists (30 from the Americas, 30 from Asia Pacific and 30 from Europe/Middle East/Africa). Judges will then select the top 15 finalists, who will be flown to Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. for a live, final event on September 23, 2013.

Visit www.googlesciencefair.com to get started now—your idea might just change the world.