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Google Showcases MoonBots 1st Place Team Landroids at Global Science Fair Kick Off

Google Showcases MoonBots 1st Place Team Landroids at Global Science Fair Kick Off

By Astiles  on January 13, 2011

We are thrilled to support two of our MoonBots Challenge partners: Google and LEGO as they roll out their global science fair to students around the world. The following article came out today from Livingston Robotics Club:

On January 11, 2011, Google invited over 200 guests to their New York office for the announcement of its first ever global online science contest called Google Science Fair. Among them were educators, students, journalists and members of Livingston Robotics Club team, the Landroids. Google has partnered with CERN (The European Organization for Nuclear Research), the LEGO Group, National Geographic and Scientific American to launch the largest, most inclusive, and free online science competition in the world for students ages 13 to 18, either working on their own or in a team of two or three people. For those who may not have ready access to the regional science fairs due to distance or resources, the Google Science Fair provides the means and opportunities to all eligible students in the world. Since most students are internet savvy these days, this online platform is a simple way to convey and share their ideas with the world. The inaugurate kickoff event started with Tesca Fitzgerald, a thirteen-year-old from Portland, Oregon dropping a ball into a Rube Golberg machine with a funnel triggering other a big laser canon, starting a rover that rolled on a track, puncturing balloons and ending with pulling a drape that unveiled the Google Science Fair contest logo. Mariette DiChristina, Editor in Chief of Scientific American, facilitated the event and welcomed all the guests. A panel of presenters included Vint Cerf from Google who is known as the ‘father of the Internet’; Spencer Wells, an award-winning geneticist from National Geographic Explorer; and William Kamkwamba who has self-taught himself to build wind turbines to help his Malawi village. Tesca Fitzgerald was the student panelists who would hope to inspire other children to join in the contest. Her 3-year research, an award winning AI robot algorithm for autonomous maneuver in the hospital environment, was used as the sample project for this science fair.

In addition to the panelist presentations, two student groups were invited to present their robots to the guests. One was a FIRST LEGO League robotics team from Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn who showed their “Body Forward” robot built with LEGO Mindstorms. Landroids, the founding team of Livingston Robotics Club, presented their Moonbots robot and documentary videos as the Grand Prize winner of the 2010 Google X PRIZE Moonbots international contest. According to Google, 15 global finalists will be announced in May 2011, and be invited to the Google CA Headquarter in July to compete as the final winner in each age category (13-14, 15-16 and 17-18). One of the 3 final winners will be chosen as the Grand Prize winner to receive a 10-day trip to Galapagos Island with National Geographic Expeditions plus a $50,000 scholarship. The other two final winners will receive $25,000 scholarship plus opportunities in internship or visit with CERN, Google or LEGO or Scientific American. Students have until April 4, 2011 to submit their projects.

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