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Education Google Science

Google Holds Global Science Fair 52

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-cheating-kid dept.
theodp writes "Google put out an APB Tuesday, looking for young Einstein and Curie wannabes for its new global online Google Science Fair (nice Rube Goldberg YouTube promo, btw). Students between the ages of 13-18 with access to a computer, the Net and a browser can compete for prizes that include a trip to the Galapagos Islands, scholarships, and a five-day trip to CERN. Google hasn't yet figured out a way to web-enable science fair boards, so projects like Crystal Meth — Friend or Foe will have to be created as Google Sites (example). Unlike a typical local school science fair, the judges here are the real deal, so you can forget about blaming scientifically-clueless students, parents and teachers for your loss this time, kids!"
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Google Holds Global Science Fair

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  • I suppose the judges will be at least slightly more qualified than the school gym teacher.
  • by The_mad_linguist (1019680) on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @02:15PM (#34852122)

    Time for people to start investing in vinegar and baking soda, since the demand is going to skyrocket in the next couple of days.

    • by Seumas (6865)

      Unfortunately, that's about the extent that you can expect in a public school. If Google is really looking to engage and facilitate critical thinking and discovery among children, they might truly be able to offer something for those children who want to have the encouragement and resources for advanced learning, but are typically not served by or even discouraged by the public school system. I was a pretty awful student, when it was my turn, but things like having the same Earth Sciences text book in high

  • by Deathnerd (1734374) on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @02:18PM (#34852180)
    Put up a message board where the kids post their project and a detailed summary with pictures, research, etc. The judges then pick out the outstanding ideas, and google flies them out to give a real life presentation. Maybe 50 or so projects could be selected. They could hold a public event as well. Fixed that for ya, Google.
    • Didn't read any of the links till after I posted. Still, it's a fairly simple fix, especially if you have resources like Google.
  • If only I were 18 again. I would love to participate in this.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      If my child was 13, she would love to participate in this.
      Last year she won the regional science fair here (which was open to 11-17 year olds), but could not progress to the national contest (which was open to 13-17 year olds).
      For reference, a link to her project site [google.com]. Hopefully, this will continue to run in the future, when she is eligible.
      • by c6gunner (950153)

        Neat project, but I'm more impressed that your 11 year old daughter can write python. It's rare to see even amongst boys of that age.

        • Neat project, but I'm more impressed that your 11 year old daughter can write python

          In teaching her python, the key explanation that made things understandable was:
          hey_you.do_this(with_this)
          Which covered enough understanding of object orientation to make useful progress.

  • There's already the Intel Science Talent Search [societyforscience.org], which used to be the Westinghouse Science Talent Search back when Westinghouse mattered.

    Google's people are working on cool stuff. Sudoku solving for Android. Trying to acquire Groupon. Buying a yacht. Meanwhile, Google search quality is slipping. [businessinsider.com] Google needs to focus.

    • So Google does something to promote science education, and you turn around and say, "Hey, focus on your profits."
      • by tehcyder (746570)

        So Google does something to promote science education, and you turn around and say, "Hey, focus on your profits."

        No, GP meant "focus on your core products."

  • And here's why:

    Save for search, Two Google key products hereunder need serious updating as outlined:

    1: GMail: The interface needs more functionality. Heck, one cannot sort! Imagine that. Functionality like that of CloudMagic [cloudmagic.com] would not hurt if inbuilt by default and not having to get it via an extension.

    2: Google Docs: The Spreadsheet needs serious love to make freezing rows, coloring columns according to programmable logic a snap.

    Why 'waste' resources of these so called science fairs? Who is advising folks

    • I forget who said it, but someone high up in Google's ranks said it very plainly and it explains a lot: "We're an advertising company." Google, like every company ever made, needs PR. What better way to make good PR than to help kids with their science fairs? It's all about advertising, my friend
    • You're the first person I've seen who thinks cultivating scientific understanding and curiosity among teenagers is a waste of money compared to being able to more easily color spreadsheet data. The world would be a much better place if other gigantic corporate entities did things like this more often.

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        You're the first person I've seen who thinks cultivating scientific understanding and curiosity among teenagers is a waste of money compared to being able to more easily color spreadsheet data. The world would be a much better place if other gigantic corporate entities did things like this more often.

        Once a company starts concentrating on PR-based activities like this instead of making their own products usable, they are in serious trouble.

        Education is the job of parents, government and schools, not advertising companies like Google. If they're that bothered, why don't they invest some of the money they have been recently spending on big boys' floating toys on donating laptops to poor kids, or something.

    • The USA is not doing so well at science and math so I think Google's idea is just fine. After all, I really don't care how they spend their money but this is a good use of it. I expected the Slashdot crowd would appreciate this.
    • by DarkOx (621550)

      Perhaps Google is thinking they can do something to save math and science education in this country so they will have a future work force to hire folks from that are able to do something useful.

  • by jheath314 (916607) on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @03:04PM (#34852944)

    Google boasts that they've assembled a "panel of acclaimed scientists including Nobel Laureates, tech visionaries and household names". The only Nobel Laureate on their list is Kary Mullis, who has a Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his invention of the polymerase chain reaction. His bio [google.com] conveniently does not mention his AIDS denialism, Climate change denial, and his belief in astrology.

    It's too bad I'm no longer a teenager... I'm sure would you have loved my project "Why Astrology is Bunk, and AIDS Denial is Dangerous"

    • I'm impressed you managed to cover both topics on one trifold without confusing anybody.

    • Newton, the father of classical physics, became a believer in alchemy. Tesla, arguably the greatest inventor of his time, made kookish claims like being able to split the earth using a few explosives.

      All this demonstrates is that even the greatest minds can believe things that are false. Perhaps they couldn't get other Nobel laureates on board because they were busy working?

      • "Newton, the father of classical physics, became a believer in alchemy"

        Newton lived in a completely different time where the state of knowledge was vastly different. Apples and oranges.

        • Also of note is that alchemy was the Newton era term for chemistry. Turning lead into gold (alchemy's best known folly) was one small part of alchemy, kind of like how perpetual motion machines are one small part of physics.
    • by Skidborg (1585365)
      So long as he is only judging in his area of experience, do his other beliefs matter?
    • What most people forget about scientists is that they are human beings like you and me. They are not angels, prophets or saints or robots. They are fallible and have their own beliefs and values that might not be compatible with yours but they are as entitled to it as you are. A Nobel laureate might be the leader of his field of expertise but might be useless at repairing his car, for example. So, do not automatically accept what they say when they are talking about stuff outside their field. Thisd does not

  • I wonder if they'll restrain the kids to only citing references from books, because, you know... you can't trust everything you see on the internet, right?
  • I know the famous photos of Einstein came when he was old, but when he first came up with his ideas, Einstein was a teenager. When he first published his general theory of relativity, he was only 26. How much younger did he have to be to make you change the way you think of him?

  • by zill (1690130) on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @04:50PM (#34854528)

    prizes that include a trip to the Galapagos Islands, scholarships, and a five-day trip to CERN

    Wouldn't it be sad if some kid from Galapagos Islands won?

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