I am excited to report that I have been invited to serve as a preliminary judge for the Google Science Fair 2011! This is the first time that Google has sponsored a Science Fair. They have partnered with CERN, the LEGO Group, National Geographic, and Scientific American to attract the brightest, best young scientists from around the world. Youth Science Canada, which includes Smarter Science, is the exclusive Canadian educational partner for this activity and is working to ensure that young Canadian scientists are well represented in the competition. Youth between the ages of 13 – 18 have the opportunity to work digitally, globally and collaboratively to present their projects.
Judges, including me, have been chosen from a panel of teachers and university professors from around the world for the first and second round of judging. As a judge I do not have to leave the comfort of my own home! Simple access to a computer with an internet connection along with some online training provides me with the confidence to access and evaluate the online submissions!
Entries that make it through the first round of judging then go on to be checked for scientific accuracy. Fifteen finalists will be flown to Google headquarters in California where they will present their projects before a panel of acclaimed judges including Nobel Laureates, tech visionaries and household names. (No, not including me!)
So in making a global Science Fair a sensational event for youth Google has also made it a wonderful opportunity for the humble science teacher, like me, to engage in our global village of digital opportunities!