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Scientific American, January 11, 2012
Google Science Fair recognizes Science in Action in 2012

Scientific American and Google are expanding the Google Science Fair awards honors in 2012. The $50,000 Scientific American Science in Action award powered by the Google Science Fair will recognize a project that addresses a social, environmental or health issue to make a practical difference in the lives of a group or community. The Google Science Fair is open to young scientists aged 13 to 18, and entries are due April 1, 2012.

"Kids are born scientists," says Scientific American editor in chief Mariette DiChristina. "They ask great questions and we should foster their efforts to learn the answers firsthand. One such opportunity is the Google Science Fair. Scientific American is thrilled to be a partner for a second year and is delighted to launch the Scientific American Science in Action Award as part of the Google Science Fair."

The finalists and winner of the Scientific American Science in Action award will be drawn from the entry pool of the Google Science Fair by a committee of judges including Dean Kamen, Thomas H. Culhane and Melanie Sanford. The winner will receive a $50,000 cash prize and one year of mentoring to help realize the goal of their project and will be recognized at the 2012 Google Science Fair Finalist event in July. More information is available at and at Those Web sites also feature an inspiring video of a Science in Action-style project-to eliminate fluctuations in electricity supply-by one of last year's finalists, Harine Ravichandran. In personal profile, Ravichandran, who lives in Chidambaram, India, said, "Whenever I visited my grandparents (in a village), I saw them suffering a lot without a proper voltage supply. Children of my age couldn't study in the evenings because of voltage 'trips.' That was when I decided to put my interest in power electronics to use."

The Google Science Fair, an annual international online competition, launched last year. In total, 7,500 projects were submitted by 10,000 students from over 90 countries. In July three young women walked away with the top honors and were invited to meet President Barack Obama in the White House to discuss their projects and goals for the future. The grand prizewinner, Shree Bose, won $50,000 for her work in improving a cancer therapy. Other partners of the Google Science Fair include CERN, Lego and National Geographic.

In addition to launching the Scientific American Science in Action Award, DiChristina will be a Google Science Fair judge. "I can't wait to see what questions the young scientists of tomorrow have been asking this time around," DiChristina says.

For more information about the Google Science Fair and the Scientific American Science in Action Award, please visit:
Science in Action landing page:
Google Science Fair 2012:
Educator resources:
Google Science Fair YouTube channel:

About Scientific American

Founded in 1845, Scientific American is the oldest continuously published magazine in the US and the leading authoritative publication for science and technology in the general media. Together with and 14 local language editions around the world it reaches more than nine million readers. Other titles include Scientific American Mind and Spektrum der Wissenschaft in Germany. Scientific American is published by Springer Nature, a leading global research, educational and professional publisher, home to an array of respected and trusted brands providing quality content through a range of innovative products and services. Springer Nature was formed in 2015 through the merger of Nature Publishing Group, Palgrave Macmillan, Macmillan Education and Springer Science+Business Media.

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