Last Thursday evening, we announced the winners of our Google Special Awards at the Intel ISEF 2010 Special Awards Ceremony. With applications from 17 project fields ranging from behavioral and social sciences to microbiology, judging these great projects was extremely difficult. Submissions like a bio-inspired photonic fuel cell and a new way to treat waste water using fungus showcased the ingenuity and imagination of the world’s next generation of scientists. In fact, we were so blown away by the caliber of the project submissions that hours before the award ceremony, we decided to give some additional awards. In addition to the three $10,000 category prizes, we awarded six runner-up prizes of $1,000 each. And since so many of our applications were in the Secret Change Agent category (an award for the project that has the most potential to positively impact society and make the world a better place), we selected two winners, who each received $10,000!

Please join us in congratulating the 10 finalists and finalist teams who were awarded the Google Special Awards. Their accomplishments represent the bright future of science and technology and we’re thrilled to be along for the ride.

Google Special Award Winners & Runner-ups

Category #1: CS Connect: applying computer science to further scientific inquiry in your field
Runner-ups ($1,000 each)
Ritik Malhotra and Tony Ho (Mechanical Engineering), ages 17, San Jose, CA
Engineering a Novel Genetics-Based Disease Detection Mechanism Designed Using an Ontology-Driven Semantically Annotated Microarray Repository with Thermal Gradient Focusing Mass Spectrometry

Christopher Nielsen (Electrical Engineering), age 16, Alberta, Canada
Robust Displacement Estimation Employing Inexpensive Webcam Based Optical Flow

Winner ($10,000)
Joon Suk Huh (Physics), age 17, South Korea
Finding the Minimum Energy Conformation of Protein-like Heteropolymers by Greedy Neighborhood Search
Category #2: The Future of Energy: contributing to a cleaner, brighter tomorrow
Runner-ups ($1,000 each)
Lyric Gilett (Energy and Transportation), 18, Texas
Novel Method: Detecting High Energies in Sonoluminescense

Max Keller (Energy and Transportation), Age 17, Minnesota
Decomposing Energy

Winner ($10,000)
Dheevesh Arulmani (Energy and Transportation), Age 14, Ontario, Canada
Bio-Inspired Photonic Fuel Cell
Category #3: Secret Change Agent: making our world a better place through innovative change
Runner-ups ($1,000 each)
Xiangbo Meng (Plant Sciences), age 17, Beijing, China
Aqueous Extract of Lemon Leaves as a Novel Powerful Insecticide Against Trialeurodes Vaporariorum (Whitefly)

Sonia Rao (Microbiology), age 17, Missouri
Bacterial Silencing: The Discovery of Quorum Quenching Soil Microbes for the Development of Antimicrobial Compounds

Winners ($10,000 each)
William Lopes (Microbiology), age 20, Brasil
Utilization of the Fungus Aspergillus Niger on Wastewater Treatment II

Karoline Elis Lopes Martins (Environmental Management), age 18, Brasil
Construction of a Continuous Flow SODIS system with PET Bottles Integrated to a Water and Waste-Water Treatment System
For a full listing of the Intel ISEF Grand Award and Special Award winners, visit the Intel ISEF 2010 homepage here.