On July 11, Google announced the winners of their first online international science fair for students. The science fair received submissions from more than 10,000 students from 91 countries. Fifteen finalists were recognized within three age categories (ages 13 to14, 15 to 16, and 17 to 18). Among those 15 finalists, there were top winners in each age group and a Grand Prize winner. American girls won most of the finalist spots in all categories.
Shree Bose, an eleventh grader from Forth Worth, Texas, won the Grand Prize for her research on ovarian cancer. Bose found that by pairing a cellular energy protein to cisplatin (a chemotherapy drug commonly prescribed to women with ovarian cancer), and doing so later into the treatment rather than earlier, she could keep the cancer cells cultures from growing resistant to the treatment. For her achievements, Bose was awarded a $50,000 scholarship, a trip to the Galápagos, and a 3-day internship at the CERN particle physics laboratory in Switzerland.
Naomi Shah of Portland, Oregon, won the age 15 to 16 category for her study of the effects of air quality on the lungs; and Lauren Hodge of Dallastown, Pennsylvania, won the first prize in the age 13 to 14 category for her research on cancer-causing compounds in marinades used for grilling meat. Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist, Vint Cerf, who served as one of the science fair judges, stated the evaluation was “gender-neutral,” and that “this is just a reminder that women are fully capable of doing same or better quality work than men can.”
What do you think could be some of the implications of more women having a prominent role in science? Tell Us Below!