Google Science Fair Invites YouTube, Gmail Submissions

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As if Google didn’t already have its hand in everything, it’s now looking to help mold young minds through a science fair.

Here’s the twist: It’s online. Unlike more traditional fairs, such as Siemens or Intel that require you showcase your work in person, the Google fair asks competitors to submit their work via Google products, such as Gmail, YouTube, and Google Docs.

The competition is open to students aged 13 to 18 from around the world, working on their own or in a team of two to three. The last day to submit work is today, April 4.

Google wants to encourage young scientists to experiment through the fair and also make its brand essential to students’ lives. Though that sounds like intensive self-promotion–and it may well be–the company insists the main motivation isn’t to turn kids into customers.

“The real motivation is to help stimulate kids’ interest in science and technology, and we hope infect other parts of the population in their excitement,” said Vint Cerf, the chief Internet evangelist at Google and a science fair judge, to the New York Times.

In early May, 60 global semi-finalists will be announced and their projects posted online and open to public voting. A judging panel will then choose 15 projects for the final round, due to take place at Google HQ in July.

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