What Do You Want to Make Better?

Deepika 1
17-year-old Deepika Kurup was the 2015 Google Science Fair National Geographic Explorer Award. Learn more about the fair and her project in the videos below. (Image courtesy of Google Science Fair)

Every day, we encounter things that inspire us, or challenge us, or bug the heck out of us—from the inconveniences of daily life to the diseases and energy issues facing humanity on a large scale.

The Google Science Fair is your chance to do something about it.
You can tackle a problem on your own or team up with friends and classmates. Either way, the challenge is real, the work will be thrilling, and the prizes are pretty great, too.
National Geographic has been a partner with the Google Science Fair since its inception.
Each year, our explorers, like high-energy (in more ways than one) inventor T.H. Culhane, have served as judges. This year, T.H. is joined by conservation tech genius and conservation tech genius Shah Selbe, freshly home from an expedition to the Okavango river delta in the heart of Africa.
We also present the National Geographic Explorer Award, the winner of which gets to join a National Geographic Expedition to the Galápagos Islands. They’ll also receive at $15,000 scholarship, and the opportunity to have an explorer as a mentor for an entire year.
Meet the 2015 winner, Deepika Kurup in the video below:
Other partners are also giving awards offering similar trips, scholarships, and mentorships at LEGO Education, Scientific American, and Virgin Galactic. Sadly, no trips to space just yet.
The Grand Prize is $50,000 in scholarship funding to continue the education of the winning person or team.
Got your big idea yet? If not, take some tips from 2015 Grand Prize winner, Olivia Hallisey.
“I had always been curious and interested in science,” she says, “and knew I wanted to submit a project, but didn’t really know exactly where to begin.”
But that didn’t stop her. She rallied her teenage pride. “Every one of us, no matter our age or background, can make a difference—and as young people, we’re not always so afraid to try things that adults think will fail.”
Finally, as you get the wheels turning on your own ideas, or take the first steps towards making your project a reality, she has one more bit of advice: “Don’t get discouraged—often what first appears like failure can teach you so much more.”
So there you have it. The gauntlet has been thrown. The prizes are hovering tantalizingly in the distance. You’ve seen it can be done.
Now just ask yourself: What will you try?
To learn more about the competition, how to enter, prize details and more, visit the Google Science Fair site, and follow along on Google+ and Twitter.

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