“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

– Ben Franklin

Kids are born scientists. They ask great questions, and as Ben Franklin–one of the original “scientific Americans”–pointed out so eloquently, we should foster their efforts to learn the answers firsthand. One such opportunity is the Google Science Fair. This international online competition, launched in 2011, drew more than 7,000 entries last year from inquiring young minds located in 91 countries; the fair has three age categories, for teens from 13 to 18. I was a finalist judge and master of ceremonies for the amazing awards event in July 2011. The grand prizewinner, Shree Bose, won $50,000 for her work in improving a cancer therapy [see "Her Summer Pastime? Cancer Research," by John Matson; Scientific American, September 2011.]

This year, Scientific American is delighted to help expand the awards honors by sponsoring a $50,000 Science in Action award for a project that addresses a social, environmental or health issue to make a practical difference in the lives of a group or community. We are also securing volunteer mentors for the winner. More information, along with an inspiring video of a Science in Action-style
project by one of last year”s finalists, Harine Ravichandran of India, is below and at www.google.com/sciencefair.

– Mariette DiChristina, Editor in Chief, Scientific American