The next generation's Albert Einsteins and Marie Curies got a chance to jumpstart their careers this morning with the debut of the Google Science Fair, an online competition that invites 13- to 18-year-olds to share their bright ideas, experiments, and observations with the world.
Representatives from Google, National Geographic, the LEGO group, CERN, and Scientific American gathered in Manhattan this morning to kick off the contest, which will remain open for submissions through midnight ET April 4, 2011. A panel of scientists and educators will select 60 semifinalists in May. 15 finalists winnowed from that group will travel to Google's Mountain View, California headquarters in July for a celebratory event and live judging.
"If you win this competition," said Samantha Peter, an Education Product Marketing Manager for Google, "we want to make sure you feel like the rock star of the science world."
The grand prize-winning student or team will travel to the Galápagos Islands, Darwin's living laboratory, with National Geographic Expeditions aboard the National Geographic Endeavor. Other prizes include scholarships from Google, Android phones and Google Chrome notebooks, opportunities to spend time at Google and CERN research labs in Switzerland, a year-long virtual internship with the LEGO MINDSTORMS R&D team, an internship shadowing the editor of Scientific American magazine, and more.