Day 49: Google Science Fair Winners

Finishing off my Amazing Human series theme week is a Ted talk by three teenagers who won the 2011 inaugural Google Science Fair. Lauren Hodge, Shree Bose and Naomi Shah use their Ted talk to explain their award-winning projects.

Meet Lauren, Naomi and Shree

First up was Lauren discussing the effect that different marinades have on the levels of carcinogens in grilled chicken. She was led down this path after reading about a lawsuit involving seven  fast food restaurants and the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine. The restaurant were being sued for failing to disclose the potential of their being dangerous substances in their food.

Her high school lab wasn’t sufficient enough to carry out her research so after emailing 200 people in a five-hour radius of her home she got one yes and her project was born.

Following Lauren was Shree’s talk discussing her project – cancer research, more specifically how to treat patients who have built up a resistance to chemotherapy drugs,  Shree was inspired to research cancer after loosing her grandfather to the disease. Just like Lauren, Shree needed access to a lab to complete her research and emailed all the professors in her local area asking to work under their supervision – only one professor agreed.

The final Ted speaker was Naomi Shah who was inspired to research  environmental solutions for conditions such as asthma.  Naomi was inspired to research air quality after witnessing her dad and brother experiencing chronic allergy all-year round, well past pollen season

Through her research Naomi is trying to get the message across that changing the quality of the air inside the home  can reduce a person’s reliance to use medications.  Naomi says “genetics loads the gun, but environment pulls the trigger”

Science has never been my thing. It’s not for me. Loving retro sci-fi movies such as Back to The Future is probably as far as I would be willing to extend any love towards science, but I have to say I love  the fact that more girls are getting into science and for three females to win the very first inaugural Google Science Fair it just proves that both genders are equally capable of making a great impact in science.  It is no longer such the male dominated field that it used to be.

Earlier this year a Verizon commercial “Inspire Her Mind” was released. The ad featured girls being curious about science but getting pushed away from it by well-intentioned, but misguided parents. According to the ad “66 percent of 4th grade girls say they like science and math, but only 18 percent of all college engineering majors are female.”

These inaugural google Science Fair winners are amazing role models for young kids, both girls and boys, wanting to pursue science. I for one was blown away!

What did you think of the Ted talk? Did you enjoy science when you were at school? Or do you enjoy science if you are still at school? I would love to know in the comments below.


Vanessa Rose