American Girls Sweep First Place at Google’s Science Fair
Paving the way for some interesting findings on cancer and asthma were not aged Nobel Prize winners, but instead, three girls who just won Google’s first ever science fair.
With over 10,000 students around the world, Google launched their first ever science fair. Interesting enough, the three first place winners were not only all American, but they were all precocious young girls.
Leading the pack with her research in an ovarian cancer drug, Shree Bose, a 17 year old from Texas won the grand prize in the fair. Bose has had quite a inventive journey in her young age. In second grade, she attempted to make a different variety of spinach– a blue one, and in fourth grade, she succeeded in building a remote controlled garbage can. And in eighth grade, she invented a railroad tie, built entirely from recycled plastic and granite dust.
For her current winning research, Bose looked into cisplatin, a chemotherapy drug used for ovarian cancer. Cisplatin tends to work for a short period of time until the cancer cells grow resistant. Bose found that when a cellular energy protein AMPK was added later on in the treatment, it worked to prolong the effectiveness of the drug.
Winning the overall prize, Bose takes home $50,000 for college, a 10-day trip to the Galapagos Islands, and another trip to go to Switzerland to visit the CERN particle physics laboratory.
Two other girls who won top prize were Naomi Shah and Lauren Hodge. Naomi won the age 15-16 category with a study on the effects of indoor air quality on lung-related diseases, specifically asthma. On the other hand, Lauren won the age 13-14 category looking into the effect of marinades on increasing or decreasing the cancer compounds from grilling (For all the BBQ fanatics out there, lemon juice and brown sugar decreases the cancer compounds while soy sauce does the opposite).
One thing that can’t be overlooked in the competition is the dominance of Americans and women, defying the stereotype that American students are falling behind in science and that the field is male dominated.
“Personally I think that’s amazing, because throughout my entire life, I’ve heard science is a field where men go into,” Bose exclaims proudly. “It just starts to show you that women are stepping up in science, and I’m excited that I was able to represent maybe just a little bit of that.”
Vint Cerf, Google’s chief Internet evangelist and one of the judges reiterates that same point, “This is just a reminder that women are fully capable of doing same or better quality work than men can.”
Congratulations to all the amazing winners and women!