It’s been a fascinating two weeks for our Google Science Fair judges. They’ve been reviewing projects which try to solve myriad problems—from helping people with hearing loss enjoy music to saving water with vacuflush toilets—and they’ve been blown away by the inventiveness of the world’s young scientists. Today, they’ve selected 15 finalists from our top 90 regional finalists. All of these students asked interesting questions; many focused on real-world problems and some produced groundbreaking science that challenged current conventions.
In July, these finalists will be coming to Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., to present their projects to our international panel of finalist judges and compete for prizes that include $100,000 in scholarship funds, a trip to the Galapagos Islands and more. The winners will be announced at our celebration gala beginning at 7:00 p.m. PDT July 23 and the event will be streamed live on our YouTube channel, so make sure to tune in.
In addition, this year one of our partners, Scientific American, is awarding a special Science in Action prize to a project that addresses a social, environmental, ethical, health or welfare issue to make a practical difference to the lives of a group or community. After careful deliberation by Scientific American’s independent judging panel, we are thrilled to announce that Sakhiwe Shongwe and Bonkhe Mahlalela from Swaziland are the winners of this award for their project, which explores an affordable way to provide hydroponics to poor subsistence farmers. In addition to the $50,000 in prize funds, Shongwe and Bonkhe will have access to a year’s mentorship to explore how their project can help the lives of subsistence farmers in Swaziland and around the world. They are also still in the running for their age category prize and the grand prize.
Congratulations to all the finalists and the Scientific American Science in Action winners. We look forward to meeting you all at Google in July.