Indian-origin girls get Google Science Fair honours

Honour conferred for their projects on ways to nimprove ovarian cacer treatment and bettering air quality for the benefit of asthma patients


Samir Sachdeva | July 15, 2011

Two Indian-origin girls have emerged winners at Google's inaugural Science Fair, impressing thousands at the internet giant's California headquarters with their projects on ways to improve ovarian cancer treatment and bettering air quality for the benefit of asthma patients.

The top three winners out of 15 finalists at the fair were all girls, Shree Bose, Naomi Shah and Lauren Hodge, prompting Google to laud "girl power" at the fair.

"The unifying elements of all three young women were their intellectual curiosity, their tenaciousness and their ambition to use science to find solutions to big problems," Cristin Frodella from Google's Education Team said in a blog post.

The finalists examined complex problems and found simple solutions that can be implemented by the general public?like changing cooking habits or removing toxins from homes, Frodella said.

Bose, who won in the 17-18 age group was also named the 'Grand Prize' winner, taking home a 50,000 dollar scholarship and an internship opportunity at the prestigious Geneva-based CERN institute.

Bose impressed judges, more than 1,000 local attendees as well as Googlers with her project to "improve ovarian cancer treatment for patients when they have built up a resistance to certain chemotherapy drugs".

Apart from the scholarship, Bose also won a trip to the Galapagos Islands with a National Geographic Explorer. Terming Bose's work as "groundbreaking discovery which could have wider implications for cancer research," Google said she came up with complex solutions that can be addressed in labs by doctors and researchers.

Shah won in the 15-16 age group for her "endeavour to prove that making changes to indoor environments that improve indoor air quality can reduce people's reliance on asthma medications".

Hodge was named winner in the 13-14 age group for studying the effect of different marinades on the level of potentially harmful carcinogens in grilled chicken.

Shah and Hodge each received 25,000 dollar scholarships and internships at Google and toy company LEGO. All three were awarded lifetime digital subscriptions to science magazine Scientific American.



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