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Fairs, competitions, expos and other science and engineering events.
Recommended posts: Intel International Science and Engineering Fair - IIT Madras Engineering Festival - UK Young Engineers Competitions

fairs, competitions, festivals and other science and engineering events.

Google Science Fair 2011 Projects

The Google Science Fair selected 60 semi-finalists in 3 groups (age 13-14, 15-16 and 17-18). The 60 global semi finalists will then be narrowed down by our judging panel to 15 global finalists who will be announced later in May.

The 15 global finalists will be flown to Google HQ in California, USA for our celebratory Science Fair event and finalist judging round will take place on 11 July 2011. These finalists will be expected to present their projects before a panel of acclaimed scientists including Nobel Laureates, tech visionaries and household names.

Sailboats using canting keels are among the world’s fastest ocean-going vessels; however, there are inherent problems. Canting sailboats require the addition of canards or dagger boards to replace the loss of the primary underwater lifting surface, adding significant complexity. The second and more important issue is that the cantilevered weight of the ballast bulb at the end of the keel generates tremendous loads on the vessel. The objective of this research was to test a concept to make sailboats even faster and safer than the current designs. To test the concept, this researcher built a remote control functional model fitted for both canting and hydrodynamic keels. The results showed that the hydrodynamic keel out performs the canting keel both upwind and downwind.

The Grand Prize winner plus one parent or guardian per winner will win an amazing 10 day trip to the Galapagos Islands with National Geographic Expeditions. Traveling aboard the National Geographic Endeavour the winner will visit Darwin’s living laboratory and experience up-close encounters with unique species such as flightless cormorants, marine iguanas, and domed giant tortoises. They also win a $50,000 scholarship, split equally between team members should a team win this prize. This scholarship is intended to be used towards the finalists’ further education.

The 2 age group winners that are not selected as the grand prize winner will win $25,000 scholarships.

You can vote on your favorite projects and help select the people’s choice winner that will receive a $10,000 scholarship.

Related: 11 Year Old Using Design of ExperimentsPresident Obama Speaks on Getting Students Excited About Science and EngineeringScience Fair Project on Bacterial Growth on Packaged Salads

Great 3D Printing Presentation

Very fun presentation by 10 year old on 3D printing and the open source Makerbot at Ignite Phoenix.

Related: 3D Printing is Here (2009 post looking at 3D printers)Open Source 3-D PrintingExpensive Ink (for regular printers)

Intel Science and Engineering Fair 2009 Webcasts

Tara Adiseshan, 14, of Charlottesville, Virginia; Li Boynton, 17, of Houston; and Olivia Schwob, 16, of Boston were selected from 1,563 young scientists from 56 countries, regions and territories for their commitment to innovation and science. Each received a $50,000 scholarship from the Intel Foundation.

(video removed, so the embed code has been removed)

In the webcast, Tara Adiseshan, talks about her project studying the evolutionary ties between nematodes (parasites) and sweat bees. She identified and classified the evolutionary relationships between sweat bees and the nematodes (microscopic worms) that live inside them. Tara was able to prove that because the two have such ecologically intimate relationships, they also have an evolutionary relationship. That is to say, if one species evolves, the other will follow.

Li Boynton developed a biosensor from bioluminescent bacteria (a living organism that gives off light) to detect the presence of contaminants in public water. Li’s biosensor is cheaper and easier to use than current biosensors, and she hopes it can be used in developing countries to reduce water toxicity. Li Boynton on What’s Great About Science:

Olivia Schwob isolated a gene that can be used to improve the intelligence of a worm. The results could help us better understand how humans learn and even prevent, treat and cure mental disabilities in the future.

In addition to the three $50,000 top winners, more than 500 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair participants received scholarships and prizes for their groundbreaking work. Intel awards included 19 “Best of Category” winners who each received a $5,000 Intel scholarship and a new laptop. In total, nearly $4 million is scholarships and awards were provided.

Related: Intel ISEF 2009 Final GalaGirls Sweep Top Honors at Siemens Competition in Math, Science and TechnologyIntel International Science and Engineering Fair 2007Worldwide Science Wizkids at Intel ISEF2008 Intel Science Talent Search
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Lunacy – FIRST Robotics Challenge 2009

The For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotic Challenge is a great way to get high school students involved in engineering. Lunacy is the 2009 competition which mimics the low friction environment on the moon (using a slick surface and slick wheels on the robots). For more information see the competition manual and related documents.

Related: FIRST Robotics in MinnesotaKids Fuse Legos and Robotics at CompetitionLa Vida RobotNorthwest FIRST Robotics Competition2006 FIRST Robotics Competition Regional Events

Tinker School: Engineering Camp

photo of Drilling at the Tinker School

NPR had a nice story on kids taking risks (a compliment our post from a couple days ago: Kids Need Adventurous Play) Camp Offers Kids A Chance To Play With Fire. Tinkering School gives kids a chance to make real things they use (boats, motorized bikes, bristle bots…). Their blog is awesome.

The Tinkering School offers an exploratory curriculum designed to help kids – ages 7 to 17 – learn how to build things. By providing a collaborative environment in which to explore basic and advanced building techniques and principles, we strive to create a school where we all learn by fooling around. All activities are hands-on, supervised, and at least partly improvisational.

Parents/guardians will be expected to complete the big scary liability waiver.

Tinkering School is taught primarily by me, Gever Tulley, aided of course by my indispensable wife Julie Spiegler and the inimitable Robyn Orr. By day, I am a Senior Computer Scientist at Adobe, writer, and practicing sculptor…

I started the Tinkering School because it’s the kind of thing I would like to have been able to go to myself.

I wish I could go. Related: National Underwater Robotics ChallengeScience Toys You Can Make With Your KidsLa Vida RobotTechnology and Fun in the Classroom

Students at Powhatan Engineering Camp

Students attend Powhatan’s first-ever engineering camp

The 28 students participating in the first-ever Powhatan County Schools engineering camp spent eight days doing hands-on activities like building model amusement park rides and suspension bridges, and taking field trips to see engineering in action. They visited the Richmond Times Dispatch’s production facility, where they observed robots shuttling stacks of paper back and forth, and the Watkins Center, where they observed engineers at work on a construction site.

The group even enjoyed a presentation from a NASA engineer, who spoke of his experience working on the Mars rover.

These engineering camps help kids enjoy their naturally inquisitive minds – which unfortunately they don’t get to do often enough.

Related: Toy and Entertainment Engineering CampScience Camps Prep GirlsTurtle Camps in MalaysiaEngineering Activities: for 9-12 Year Olds

Beloit College: Girls and Women in Science

photo of chemistry lab

Girls and Women in Science at Beloit College in Wisconsin:

sixth grade girls, along with their teachers and parents. This award winning conference encourages the exploration of science and mathematics by middle school girls through two days of experiments, activities, and interaction with science professionals. The girls, teachers, and parents will work with Beloit College faculty, students, and alumnae.

Girls getting into science

Eaton said the 24 girls participating will be able to take an active role in the laboratories. It’s critical the girls are encouraged and get the chance to increase their risk-taking abilities without boys.

The problem is, Eaton said, that sixth-grade girls’ interest in science starts dwindling and boys start becoming more dominant. “The boys take over the hands-on projects and the girls take notes,” Eaton said. “Boys will answer a question more authoritatively. Girls pose answers as a question. They are not as confident in their answers.”

To help foster activity among girls, the weekend conference also offers several workshops for parents and teachers. The workshops teach adults what they are doing to discourage girls and how they can learn to encourage them more.

Related: Science Opportunities for StudentsScience Camps Prep GirlsBuilding minds by building robots

RoboCup German Open 2008

Video of humanoid robot football (soccer) competition in German, April 2008. They are a bit slow but it sure looks like this is a fun area to watch the improvement of robot engineering.

Related: RoboCup 2006The Science of the Football SwerveRobo-One Grand ChampionshipToyota Robots

Team America Rocketry Challenge

On May 17th, in The Plains, Virginia, the Team America Rocketry Challenge finals will be held. After a full day of launches, held at the Great Meadows facility, the winners will be crowned and $60,000 in scholarships will be divided up among the top finishers.

Related: Goldwater Science ScholarshipsSiemens Competition in Math, Science and TechnologyStudent Algae Bio-fuel Project

Robin Williams Saves the Day

And now for another something completely different: Robin Williams Saves the Day at TED When Tech Fails

Before the host, BBC World presenter Matt Frei, could finish his introduction of panelist Sergey Brin from Google, he announced there was a technical issue. Frei didn’t quite know what to do with the empty air while waiting for a fix and joked that the voice in his earphone (the producer) was telling him a long, elaborate political joke about Poland.

That’s when a voice behind me spoke up, presumably a heckler, and began speaking loudly as if he were conducting a live news feed, joking that he was reporting live from TED

The crowd by then had realized it was Williams. Encouraged by their reaction, he continued reporting to some unseen BBC anchorman from his seat: “Well, they said they found the wire, but it’s not plugged in.”

Williams was then invited to take the stage and the crowd roared. He spent the next ten minutes or so riffing on Stephen Hawking (who spoke at TED earlier in the day from Cambridge, England) and the end of the universe — which will take place “exactly in one hour,” he said, looking at his watch.

He joked again about the technical glitch, indicating that although the BBC wasn’t working, audience members “with their phones are going, ‘I’m getting all of this!'” And it was true. Dozens of people were capturing the stand-up act on their phones.

He riffed about a new Apple product called the “iWhy?” and a few seconds later said he had just one question about the British royal family: “All that money and no dental plan,” he deadpanned, which got a lot of laughs and a few sympathetic nods toward the BBC presenter sitting behind him (who appeared to have perfectly fine dental hygiene).

He didn’t spare panelist Brin and Google, noting that if you walk into Google you see everyone in front of their computer sitting on exercise balls, “which I think is how they’re hatching new employees.”

Related: Macavity’s a Mystery CatMinistry of Silly Walks

Now back to your regularly scheduled science: Your Inner Fish

Thailand’s Contribution to the ISEF

Intel to send 5 to US

Intel Microelectronics (Thailand) Ltd is sponsoring five young Thai students to participate in the 59th Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) in Atlanta, Georgia

Two of the individual entries are a musical instrument sound analysis and recognition system, which won the first prize in the computer science category, and was developed by Boonyarit Somrealvongkul, and a method of measuring a curved path’s radius with a modified car, which took first prize in the engineering category and was developed by Ronnapee Chaichaowarat.

The third project is a team entry, “New Plywood Products”, the first prize winner in the environmental science category, developed by Pheemadej Prasitwarawej, Tanavorakit Bangkeaw and Manapas Hararak, from Montfort College, Chiang Mai.

Over 1,500 of the brightest young scientists from around the world attend the fair every year, where they share ideas, showcase cutting-edge science projects and compete for more than $3 million (94.5 million baht) in awards and scholarships.

Related: Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2007Intel International Science and Engineering Fair AwardsDirectory of Science Fairs