Be like Larry and Sergey: Google invites teens to online science fair

Google (NSDQ: GOOG) is urging youths ages 13 to 18 to take part in a worldwide science fair that will be hosted by the search giant online.

Google, in a blog posting titled "Google Science Fair seeks budding Einsteins and Curies,"  invokes the story of its founders, onetime computer science students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, to encourage young people to take part in the event.

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"Larry and Sergey were fortunate to be able to get their idea in front of lots of people. But how many ideas are lost because people don’t have the right forum for their talents to be discovered? We believe that science can change the world—and one way to encourage that is to celebrate and champion young scientific talent as we do athletes and pop idols,” Google writes.

The Google Science Fair is being conducted in partnership with CERN, The LEGO Group, National Geographic and Scientific American.  Details on how to enter are here, but the basics are that students can enter by themselves or in groups of three by April 4.  Finalists will be invited to participate in a live event at Google headquarters in Silicon Valley. Prizes include everything from a trip to the Galapagos Islands to scholarships, and entrants are free to double dip by submitting projects they are doing for local competitions into the Google Science Fair.

(Having been something of a Science Fair prodigy myself back in the day, typically leashing a large beetle or a salamander with a piece of thread or string and walking it around to grab judges’ attention, this sounds like a swell idea.)

The Google Science Fair isn't the first time Google has sought to inspire creativity via the contest route. It used to hold an Android Developer Challenge to entice programmers to create apps for Android smartphones. (That effort seems to have worked out pretty well, given the growing popularity of Android devices.)

Not that I'll necessarily help you with your science project, but follow me on Twitter, Facebook and StumbleUpon.

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