The folks at Google believe that science can change the world. To inspire kids to get involved with science and encourage those who already are, Google is launching its first online science fair.

The competition is open to students age 13 to 18 from around the world who working on their own or with a team of up to three people. The contest is open now, with project submissions due by April 4, 2011.

After that, the judging begins. (Check out this page if you're a teacher or former teacher interested in helping with the judging process.) In early May, 60 semi-finalists will be announced and their projects will be posted online for a public voting period. The group of semi-finalists will then be narrowed down to 15 finalists who will be flown to Google headquarters in California for a brick-and-mortar science fair to be held on July 11.  

The panel who will judge the finals include Nobel laureates, tech visionaries and household names in scientific research. A winner will be selected from each of the age categories: 13-14, 15-16 and 17-18. One of the finalists will be named the grand prize Winner.

Google is putting together some amazing goodie bags for the winners including a $25,000 scholarship for each finalist and a $50,000 scholarship and a 10-day trip to the Galapagos Islands with National Geographic Expeditions for the grand prize winner. 

Pretty good, right? Dust off your beakers and microscopes and get working!

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