Video: Budding Young Scientists in India, Singapore and South Africa

This post is part of our special coverage Global Development 2011.

The Google Science Fair project semi finalist listings are up. Although it was open to teens between 13 and 18 years from all over the world, it is interesting to note that the United States, Singapore and India take the majority of spots amongst the 60 selected semi finalists, which also includes entries from New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Canada.

The winner of the amazing Grand Prize – which includes a National Geographic expedition and 50,000 US dollar (USD) scholarship – will come from this crop of 60 talented young scientists: judges will select 15  finalists who will fly to the US where they will present their project, before the winner is chosen. The semi-finalist who gets the most votes will win the People's Choice Award and a USD 10,000 scholarship.

Screenshot of Google Science Fair People's Choice Award's Video

The Google Science Fair Project kicked off back in January 2011, with a video invitation. The video is based around a fun Rube Goldberg type of machine that uses scientific props and tools to show how science is a universal language. And it seems to have worked wonderfully: according to the video announcement to vote for the semi-finalists, more than 7,000 entries were received from 90 different countries.

Luke Taylor from South Africa is competing in the 13-14 year old category.  In his video presentation, he explains the process behind teaching a robot how to follow spoken English instructions:

In India, Chaithya G. R. and Siri G.R. thought about the increase in accidents at unmanned train crossings which they suspect is due to lack of signals to let people know a train is coming. They designed a system which uses magnets and electronics, so that the passing of a train engages sound and light sensors and deploys a gate as well:

Chiu Chai Hao of Singapore is also intent on saving lives, in his case, by granting access to clean water free of heavy metal contamination through the use of water plants:

[Ed.Note.- Author has since removed the project from public view]

Sahil Sahibole from India is also interested in the environment. He project focuses on harnessing solar power to resolve an important issue in health in remote locations: the lack of electricity to safely sterilize medical instruments in autoclaves:


The team of Nishanth Kumar, Krishna Betai and Anish V Malladi of India also focused on medical issues, in this case creating a sensor that could tell medical practitioners when intravenous fluid levels get low so they can assist patients better:


There are many other projects by talented young scientists waiting for your votes for the People's Choice Awards. You can vote once in each age group.

This post is part of our special coverage Global Development 2011.


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