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Google announces inaugural Science Fair winners, touts 'girl power'

July 12, 2011 |  8:53 pm


Google announced the winners in its first Science Fair -- three young women who could someday cure cancer, build flying cars or become the CEO of a giant tech corporation.

The 15 science-fair finalists put their projects on display at an exhibit hall in Google headquarters Monday. More than 1,000 onlookers came to check them out.

But in the end, the judges had to pick three winners, which Google announced in a blog post Tuesday.

In the 13-to-14 age group, Lauren Hodge won for her project studying how different sauces potentially affect carcinogen levels in grilled chicken.

In the 15-to-16 age range, Naomi Shah tried to prove that tweaking the environment indoors can improve air quality and lessen people's reliance on asthma medication.

The Grand Prize winner (and champion in the 17-to-18 age group) was Shree Bose, who found "a way to improve ovarian cancer treatment for patients when they have built up a resistance to certain chemotherapy drugs," the blog post said.

"This year was all about girl power," Google declared.

"Our judges said the unifying elements of all three young women were their intellectual curiosity, their tenaciousness and their ambition to use science to find solutions to big problems," Google said. "They examined complex problems and found both simple solutions that can be implemented by the general public — like changing your cooking habits or removing toxins from your home — as well as more complex solutions that can be addressed in labs by doctors and researchers, such as Shree’s groundbreaking discovery, which could have wider implications for cancer research."

The winners took home a good haul. Grand-prize winner Bose won a $50,000 scholarship, a trip to the Galapagos Islands and an internship at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known as CERN. Hodge and Shah took home $25,000 each in scholarships and internships at Lego and Google.

For info about next year's Google Science Fair, click here.


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-- Shan Li

Photo: Winners (from left): Lauren Hodge, Shree Bose and Naomi Shah. Credit: Google