Google’s first-ever Global Science Fair showed off advances in chemotherapy and carcinogen research, turbine design and more — all from teenage researchers.
At a packed event this week in Mountain View, California, 15 teens presented their research to a panel of judges that included “father of the Internet” Vint Cerf, Scientific American Editor in Chief Mariette DiChristina and CERN Director General Rolf-Dieter Heurer.
Lauren Hodge won the 13- to 14-year-old age group with her study of the effect of marinades on the level of carcinogens in grilled chicken. Naomi Shah won in the 15- to 16-year-old age group with her study of the inverse relationship between certain environmental factors and a reliance on asthma medications. Shree Bose won the 17- to 18-year-old age group with her study of AMPK’s effect on chemotherapy drugs.
Bose was also the grand prize winner, earning herself a 10-day trip to the Galapagos Islands, an internship at the CERN particle accelerator and a $50,000 scholarship.
Google launched its Global Science Fair earlier this year, asking students to submit their projects online. From that group, 15 finalists competed for top honors.
Check out all the finalists and their projects in the gallery of photos we’ve assembled below.
Welcome to the Google Science Fair
Google held its first-ever science fair in Building 43.
Students at the Door
A group of students get their badges for the science fair.
Google Science Fair Sponsors
The science fair is sponsored by LEGO and National Geographic.
The walls of the science fair room were lined with different elements from the periodic table.
Taylor's project demonstrated that NXT robots are capable of understanding the natural English language, therefore simplifying the programming of such robots.
A Closer Look at the Robot
This is one of Taylor's robots.
Koppula's project "displayed two algorithms created to successfully collect, process and distribute marine data in order to effectively explore vast areas of the oceans."
Koppula explains his research.
Morris's project "concluded that a hydrodynamic keel on a sailboat performs more effectivley and efficiently than a canting keel while traveling both upwind and downwind."
A closer look at Morris's sailboat model.
Nielsen's project "displayed that an inexpensive webcam stereoscopic system could be developed to track a mobile platform through the development of algorithms."
A close-up of a part of Nielsen's system.
Ravichandran's project "concluded that multilevel inverters can overcome power shortages, or voltage sags, when connected in a single phase circuit."
Vint Cerf, one of the fathers of the Internet and Google's chief Internet evangelist, speaks with Ravichandran.
Arnold's project "concluded that by improving the switch design of a track to a spring switch combined with an additional spring, zero train derailments would occur."
Vighnesh Leonardo Shiv
Shiv's project "displayed sinusoidal modeling, onset detection and machine learning algorithms in order to automatically analyze music."
Automatic Music Analysis
This shows some of the data Shiv collected in his research.
Ovsak's project "concluded that in order to make a turbine work efficiently while submerged under water, the fin shape would have to differ while going against and toward the water. The new fin shape allowed for the turbine to perform at its maximum efficiency."
A closer look at Ovsak's underwater turbine model.
Ovsak and Vint Cerf
Google VP Vint Cerf questions Ovsak on his project.
Ovsak Explains His Fin Design
Ovsak explains how his fin shape makes submerged turbines more effective.
Guo's projected "concluded that metformin and cinnamon, both capable of insulin sensitizing, caused untreated cells to produce twice the amount of β-amyloid, an amyloid plaque found in the brains of patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease."
A Deeper Look at β-Amyloids Role in Alzheimer's Disease.
A photo of some of Guo's conclusions on the impact of β-amyloids in Alzheimer's.
Explaining Her Research
Michelle Guo explains her research.
Shaun Lim Hsien Yang
Yang's project "concluded that increasing global ultraviolet levels would stimulate the allelochemical production or metabolites that affect the growth of organisms close by, in sunflowers."
Shah's project "demonstrated that a strong inverse correlation was shown between the decrease of the Peak Expiratory Flow (PEF) of asthma patients, and the increase of Particulate Matter (PM10) and Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOC)."
Shah Explains Her Work
Shah delivers the pitch for her project.
Srinivasan's project "concluded that a more efficient brian-computer interface caused significant increase in the pattern detection accuracy of prosthetic technology, creating more effective technology for amputees today." Srinivasan was with the judges when this photo was taken.
Bose's project "demonstrated that AMPK, an activated protein enyzme, causes resistance to cisplatin, one of the most common chemotherapy drugs used to treat ovarian cancer."
Explaining Her Research
Bose explains her chemotherapy research.
Chen's project "demonstrated that by creating a video-audio recorder with decision-making abilities, a combined record of a day's events could be compiled onto one system, and could be applied as a memory aid for dementia patients."
A close-up of Chen's dementia research.
Hodge's project "displayed that the concentration of the carciogenen PhIP in grilled chicken decreased when the marinades of lemon juice, brown sugar, olive oil and salt water were used."
Hodge's booth had a TGIF and a Burger King logo.
From the Googleplex
Another view of the science fair.