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Google Science Fair Back For 2nd Year

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the fire-up-the-volcano dept.

Google 31

alphadogg writes "Google, joining forces with CERN, The LEGO Group, National Geographic and Scientific American, has announced the 2012 Google Science Fair, an online competition open to 13-to-18-year-olds around the world. Prizes include a $50,000 college scholarship, a 10-day trip to the Galapagos Islands and more. Judges include Google VP and Internet pioneer Vinton Cerf, CERN Director Steve Myers, oceanographer Sylvia Earle and others."

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31 comments

Do they give a prize for first post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38678616)

Feel free to bury me.

Re:Do they give a prize for first post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38678744)

If you win, you probably get hired by Google or some shit like that.

Now that's a little patronising... (4, Interesting)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 2 years ago | (#38678640)

"....top 3 2011 Google Science Fair winners -- all girls -- were recognized for innovations."

Apparently girls can do science too!

Re:Now that's a little patronising... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38678720)

Yep good job on the grilled chicken!

Re:Now that's a little patronising... (1)

DarkIye (875062) | more than 2 years ago | (#38678778)

I think they were probably just remarking on something statistically unusual.

Re:Now that's a little patronising... (4, Insightful)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 2 years ago | (#38678884)

How so?

That all three are of the same sex? I'm fairly sure he wouldn't have made the distinction if it where three boys. My supposition aside, 3/3 isn't that statistically interesting.

That there aren't that many women interested in science? He'd have to qualify that.

That there aren't many women who are smart? That's just plain bizarre.

Without a point or qualification, it's just patronising fluff.

Re:Now that's a little patronising... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38679066)

Are you really that stupid or are you simply trying to make a dumb point?

Re:Now that's a little patronising... (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#38679152)

The person may have a point, but I don't think they have thought though their point well enough to actually make an argument. Once the person does try to make an argument the person will find out they don't actually have a point.

Re:Now that's a little patronising... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38679322)

It's not patronizing, you're misinterpreting. It's pointing out how awesome it is.

It's not that girls aren't interested, or that they aren't smart. It's that they are often told they can't do it. Boys, rather than girls, are constantly encouraged to go into STEM related fields.

But things are changing, and that is why it is worth mentioning. Not that long ago this wouldn't have happened. This Science Fair was actually pretty evenly split between genders, and it is a sign that gender equality in these fields is improving.

This article [nytimes.com] is a decent read and provides commentary about this.

To quote the article:

Dr. Cerf said that a common thread among the finalists was that they had explored science enthusiastically for years with the encouragement of their parents.

This. This is not common. It's becoming more common, but it still is not.

Here is a nytimes blog post [nytimes.com] also going into this. Here [nytimes.com] is one providing data about women in tech fields.

Women are starting to be more and more dominant all across the board, and this is a good thing. It is not patronizing to point out since it was pointed out not because girls are becoming smarter, but instead society is changing to let women have equal footing and everyone is more accepting. One day it won't matter, but it's not today. This shows progress.

((Hm, I'm not sure how /. views these types of gender issues. I guess I'll see))

Re:Now that's a little patronising... (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38679920)

That there aren't that many women interested in science? He'd have to qualify that.

Certainly my experience. From my observation women just don't tend to get passionate about science. Sorry if that's politically incorrect but everything from science classes, science clubs to the workforce - even when there is a significant (often misguided reverse sexism) attempt to address the imbalance - I see few women who "get it" when it comes to being passionate about science. When they do get interested, I don't think they are at a particular advantage or disadvantage.

Re:Now that's a little patronising... (1)

Demonoid-Penguin (1669014) | more than 2 years ago | (#38680618)

How so?

That all three are of the same sex? I'm fairly sure he wouldn't have made the distinction if it where three boys. My supposition aside, 3/3 isn't that statistically interesting.

Maybe you're missing the point. A lot of males are surprised that women can do anything other than have babies (with the assistance of males). But fear not - any evidence to the contrary will quickly fade from their memory to be replaced with the handpicked "proof" of the "understanding" or "their" world.

The world is full of morons. Cue the "pictures as proof" posts by the gene pool rejects. The sort that stupidly trot out terms like "patronizing" when they feel some "woman" is lecturing them. (which would be "matronizing" wouldn't it?)
But, but. weasel roll etc.

Re:Now that's a little patronising... (2)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681200)

It is statistically unusual. No matter how much you want to scream from the top of a mountain that girls are equal in everything, females statistically do not become scientists. Look at the general percentage of male scientists to female scientists. It's not that they're incapable of science, that they're dumber, or any nonsense like that, it's just that far more men get into the field then women for a degree of personal reasons. Whatever it stems from doesn't take away from the fact that girls dominating a science fair is strange to a lot of people for this reason.

Sounds like you're just looking for a reason to be insulted.

Re:Now that's a little patronising... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38682752)

3/3 may not be statistically interesting, but it is a fact. I am in favour of reporters reporting facts; it is an uncommon phenomenon to be appreciated in this day.

did you even take an opportunity to read any of the information from the Google Science Fair, or did you just get hung up on a stated fact? i'd find it interesting if a boy produced a report on ovarian cancer research. way to ignore the actual science being reported on, and criticizing a fact out of context.

Re:Now that's a little patronising... (2)

beckett (27524) | more than 2 years ago | (#38682784)

That there aren't many women who are smart? That's just plain bizarre.

I read the article and figured this was written to encourage even more girls to be interested in science.

It's interesting how much perception is really projection.

Re:Now that's a little patronising... (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38678786)

Well, in the 13-18 year old category, this isn't surprising. Guys are usually more interested in... well, in the practical aspects of biology during that period.

Or leveling up their Chaotic-Good Drow Rogue.

Re:Now that's a little patronising... (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38679142)

Well, in the 13-18 year old category, this isn't surprising. Guys are usually more interested in... well, in the practical aspects of biology during that period.

I'm quite sure that many boys in that age would gladly take the chance to study ovaries in great detail and take prize money for that.

Re:Now that's a little patronising... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38678872)

Yes. One make Cookies. Another made Pie. The third got blood and grass stains out of her boyfriend's football uniform.

No math though.

Re:Now that's a little patronising... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38679108)

The only reason that this is on /. is because all the winners were girls.

Re:Now that's a little patronising... (1)

greenlead (841089) | more than 2 years ago | (#38679402)

Did they -- consciously or unconsciously -- give them extra points for being female? I've often seen in coed organizations that if a male and female or competing for a similar award (a job, bonus, etc.) and have the same qualifications, the female will often win it because it looks better for the organization ("LOOK! We have females in high positions here!").

Google should close up shop (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38678656)

Stick a fork in them. They're done.

Greatest innovator on the web (1)

rottnapl (2551814) | more than 2 years ago | (#38678808)

this is an very interesting article. in my opinion google is the greates innovator on the web.

Re:Greatest innovator on the web (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38678912)

this is an very interesting article. in my opinion google is the greates innovator on the web.

lol

Welcome to /.!

You should shadow DCTech and provide your astounding insight and bytes to counter his constant, rarely on-topic Google Sucks! trolls.

Unless your are he, and I am me, and we are all together, walrus.

$50,000 college scholarship? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38678834)

That would be enough for 70 years worth of tuition fees over here.

Re:$50,000 college scholarship? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38678944)

In the US:

1 year at a ivy league school.

A bachelors degree at at the better state schools.

A doctorate at a mediocre school.

You could probably attend community college for a few decades if you had some outside income to cover room and board.

Vint Cerf, why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38678908)

Why did you join Google? You're a bright man and know perfectly well that its aims are the antithesis of what the Internet was about. Or have you become bored and wanted a cushy, high-paying position? I guess you could have argued to yourself that you'd be better ablt to steer the corporation from within than without, but isn't it time you accepted that you've just been adopted as a mascot?

Anyway, you were once cool...

Re:Vint Cerf, why? (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#38679100)

Out of all the places he could work, where do you think he should work?

Where do you think he should not work due to moral qualms?

Why should he give two shits what you think?

Re:Vint Cerf, why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38679572)

Try to argue less like a politician and think more.

Out of all the places he could work, where do you think he should work?

I haven't thought much about it, nor is it relevant to the line of questioning. It is clear that he has many other opportunities and what I am interested in is why he made his particular choice.

Where do you think he should not work due to moral qualms?

At the very least, Google.

Why should he give two shits what you think?

I know it is common today to judge a man on many things, but it still seems reasonable to me to judge a man on his choices. And we make those judgments not to condemn or to beatify but in order that we might learn and improve ourselves. Whether he cares about what I think is irrelevant.

ToS? (2, Interesting)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38679408)

By entering into this contest, you agree that all research and/or invention submitted becomes the intellectual property of Google, and that any and all profits made from the sale of said research/invention, past present and future, will be paid directly to Google.

Re:ToS? (3, Insightful)

Fastolfe (1470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681626)

Is this a question or a statement? Because this does not appear to be part of their terms at all.

Re:ToS? (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 2 years ago | (#38682834)

you should read the rules for the doodle 4 google contest - aimed at art for kids K-12

http://www.google.com/doodle4google/rules.html [google.com]

Some of my favorites:
"By participating in this Contest, you agree and hereby grant Google permission to use, copy, modify, distribute, and publicly display your Contest submissions for any purpose, such as, but not limited to, press and media communications, without any compensation or attribution to you. You also agree to participate in any media or promotional activity regarding the Contest. If you are a the National Winner, one of the three (3) National Finalists, one of the forty (40) Regional Winners or one of the four hundred (400) State Finalists, you agree that Google may use your name and likeness to administer and promote the Contest and to conduct media interviews and promotional events."

i can sort of understand not paying.... although they have the money.. but no attribution? that's just mean, and to kids at that.

"No Recourse to Judicial or Other Procedures. To the extent permitted by law, the rights to litigate, to seek injunctive relief, or to any other recourse to judicial or any other procedure in case of disputes or claims resulting from or in connection with this Contest are hereby excluded, and you expressly waive any and all such rights."

really? I know this is a cover their ass type of statement - but really? this is art from kids.. what exactly could you foresee your self doing that you would want to cover your ass like this?

"All intellectual property and industrial property rights in any entries that belonged to the Entrants will remain with the Entrants, but the submissions will otherwise become the property of Google, and will not be returned after the Contest. You grant Google permission to use, copy, modify, distribute, and publicly display your Contest submission for any purpose, including display on the Google website, without any attribution or compensation to you."

and no that's not a mess up on my end - they tell you twice that they are taking it from you and will not be paying or giving you credit for it.. (and this i for sending it in, even if you don't win anything)

Plea for Help - Bioinformatics Sci Fair (3, Interesting)

superid (46543) | more than 2 years ago | (#38681940)

Ok slashdotters, I've had no luck getting this question answered elsewhere so I might as well try here. My son is very interested in coding. He's competent in Java and he's picking up c quite well. He's taken an interest in GPU programming and I know over the next year he will do OK with those concepts too (I've been able to get both OpenCL and CUDA code up and running). In other words, we've got the computer end of a sci fair project pretty well established. The problem is that while I know generally what bioinformatics is all about, I have no background or resources in the appropriate biology to help him find a worthy project.

Ideally, what he wants is 1) a bioinformatics problem with a large data set (yes I realize that is redundant by definition) 2) one that would benefit from GPU programming 3) a problem that makes some kind of physical testable prediction that could be tested.

Last year a kid (from Canada?) did a drug interaction study where he took candidate compounds and determined where on a protein they would attach. From that he found two compounds that could mate at the same time because their locations did not interfere. Thus increasing the effectivity. He actually clinically tested "his" drug on cells. Pretty impressive. I'm not expecting my son to reach that level but I'd like to find something real world and challenging that couples computer science with a physical biological process.

any input is greatly appreciated! gary.huntress@gmail.com

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