Google finally announced the 15 finalists for its grand event Google Science Fair 2013. The Google Science Fair was started in January 2011 and is an online science competition sponsored by Google, CERN, National Geographic, Lego and Scientific American. Five projects are chosen from each group from all over the world- Canada, Russia, USA, India, Singapore, Greece, Australia and Turkey.
I owe to say that this is truly a smart attempt to encourage kids and help them in widening their scope of knowledge to different fields- programming, technology, science, ecology, health etc., Here is a brief overview of the 15 teams and their projects. I hope reading this would motivate other kids to learn and experiment the ideas of their choice.
Venkat Sankar (USA):
Project: Ecology or Economy
The project is a computer simulation based approach to identify and thus manage the impact of infrastructure projects on endangered species. Venkat says that using the real world case study- ‘Panoche Valley Solar Farm Project’ in California (A project that deals with the impact on the endangered Kangaroo rat) he has been able to validate stimulation modeling for his project. He says providing this kind of solution is quite feasible and cost effective to protect wildlife.
Alex Spiride (USA) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVI_lz5aMfc
Project: Squid Jet
Squid jet is a bio inspired under water vehicle that uses jet propulsion system and serves as an efficient mode of locomotion for vehicles under water. Implementing such a technique can reach speeds in excess of 30 cm/second. This proposal surely surpasses other man- made propulsion systems and it already started receiving accolades from many people.
Liza Sosnova and Tina Kabir (Russia)
Project: Lyytinen- Universal hydrostatic densitometer
Lytinnen is a universal instrument which is used to measure the mass of a body, density of liquids, and bulk solids.
Kavita Selva(USA) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39E_sp3XUB8
Project: Super Conductor Tapes
China controls 97 percent of rare earth production and it has restricted their export recently to rear earth production. They called for a worldwide incentive to develop strong magnets containing no or little amounts of rear earth metals. So Kavitha has come up with an idea of superconductor tapes made by thin coating of superconductor materials which corresponds to a very small amount of rear earth metals.
Viney Kumar (Australia)
Project: The PART (Police and Ambulances Regulating Traffic) Program
This project aims at saving the lives of people lost each day because of the ineffectiveness of ambulances that get stuck in traffic and do not make it their target points in their right time. The concept is based on a Android GPS wireless application that account for enabling poor pick up rates of ERV sirens by drivers and thus facilitate the timely action by vehicular traffic.
Age 15- 16:
Elif Bilgin (Turkey): http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=El3vc_j-lao
Project: Going Bananas!
You can take possible out of impossible and go creative with your ideas. This is one such project which makes it possible by using the banana peels in the electrical insulation of cables. The daily thrown waste product is used in the production of bioplastic as a replacement of the traditional petroleum based plastic. This is a kind of eco- friendly project which helps you to decrease thepollution that is created due to the use of plastics which contain petroleum derivatives.
Ann Makosinski (Cananda) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CCGUMkcbjg&feature=youtu.be
Project: The Hollow Flashlight
The objective of the project is to create a flashlight that runs on the heat of the human hand. Ann used peltier tiles that gets heated and cooled with the temperature difference of your palm. The desire is to achieve a bright light at a very low degree and Ann achieved at 5 degree Celcius of Peltier difference.
Yi Xi Kang, Kwok Ling Yi, Tricial Lim (Singapore) http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=lM5UruOKtTk
Project: Efiicacy of Estrogens and Progesterone in Hepatic Fibrosuppression
The three Singaporean girls researched how sex hormones like estrogen and progesterone help in healing the liver scarring. They hope their contributions to scientific research to be used in the real life applications to improve patient welfare.
Valerie Ding (USA)
Project: Rapid Quantum Dot Solar Cell Optimization
An emerging technology, quantun dot solar cell, theoretically, is twice as efficient as conventional solar cell. But, the state of the art of QD cells is not that efficient. This is the first attempt to integrate the physics of quantum mechanical modeling and the earth science of the solar irradiance spectrum on Earth’s surface to develop a novel research method to rapidly improve QD cells. This model can be used for other benefits like multiple exciton generation to optimize QD cell efficiency.
Shrishti Asthana (India)
Project: Solar Light Assisted nanoZnO Photo Catalytic Mineralization
Runoff waters from cities accumulate detergent from different industrial and domestic sources which results in huge pollution. She says her project is an effective and a green method of degrading detergents in water, leaving the water cleaner. She uses nanoZnO and sunlight to degrade the detergents.
Age 17- 18:
Charalampos Ioannou (Greece) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUkcUOKVRtU
Project: An Exoskeleton Glove which Enhances and Supports the Movement of the Human Palm
The project aims at helping the people who suffer from upper hand disabilities and thus help them assist, support and enhance the movement of the palm. The user has to wear this exoskeleton glove which has the ability to sense the human’s palm kinetic stimulus with the help of pressure sensors, a processing system which runs on a algorithm that drives the precision motor mechanisms in order to withstand the human’s force when any object or device is held.
Esha Maiti (USA)
Project: Stochastic Monte Carlo Simulations to Determine Breast Cancer Metastasis Rates from Patient Survival Data
The aim of the project is to help doctors know statistically when to conduct pre and post surgery decisions using a tool. In general, long term survival of cancer patients depends on whether the primary tumor has metastasized to vital organs. Esha has developed a Monte Carlo simulation code that helps predict the size and the number distribution of the metastasized tumors based on the size of primary tumor.
Elizabeth Zhao (USA)
Project: A Novel Implementation of Image Processing and Machine Learning for Early Diagnosis of Melanoma
Melanoma is one of the deadliest cancers but can be cured when diagnosed. The aim of the project is to build accurate system that allows for early diagnosis. The project utilizes a computer aided analysis of skin lesions based on the ABCD guidelines used by the dermatologists. The extracted ABCD features will be further tested in a machine learning algorithm known as Artificial Neural Networks. All these combined steps provide 80 percent accuracy for diagnosis.
Eric Chen (USA)
Project: Computer-aided Discovery of Novel Influenza Endonuclease Inhibitors to Combat Flu Pandemic
There are some highly lethal avian influenza inhibitors like H5N1 and H7N9 and are constant threats to public health causing disastrous flues. In order to discover harmful inhibitors that leads for a new type of anti flu medicine Eric combined computer modeling and biological studies and identified a number of novel, potent endonuclease inhibitors to develop into new anti influenza drugs.
Vinay Iyengar (USA)
Project: Efficient Characteristic 3 Galois Field Operations for Elliptic Curve Cryptographic Applications
Galois fields are a fundamental concept and have a wide variety of applications in computer science and applied mathematics. The purpose of this project was to design and implement characteristic 3 Galois field arithmetic algorithms with greater efficiency and evaluate their applicability to elliptic curve cryptography.
The 15 finalists will be taken to the Google Mountain View Headquarters, USA, on September 23, to present their projects to an international panel of esteemed scientists for judging. The Grand prize winner will receive a 10- day expedition to the Galapagos Islands with National geographic Expeditions, and USD 50,000 scholarship funding.