Girls rule at Google Science Fair

Credit: flickr/DrBacchus

The New York Times labeled this a "First-Place Sweep" in their story about three girls who took first prize in their age groups at the recent Google Science Fair. Nine of the 15 finalists were girls, another nice trend. As many problems as we have to solve, the more children of both genders learning science the better off we'll all be.

[Also see: The Math Myth and Women in IT: The long climb to the top]

Prizes include scholarships and an internship at CERN, the location of the hadron collider, and one of the sponsors of the contest. More than 10,000 students from 91 countries entered the competition, the first Science Fair by Google. Let's hope Google keeps doing this, and keeps getting these outstanding results.

We've come so far

The science prize winners for a recent Westinghouse competition were also all girls. So obviously girls are either simply superior to boys and have been oppressed and only now are showing their true abilities, or they're being affirmative actioned above boys for political reasons. magmonster2002 on TechLand.Time.com
This reminds of research showing that "Over 80% of high school leadership positions are now held by girls (Fiscus, 1997.)" It still remains to be seen how doing more of something (or being more successful at something) in high school translates to being successful at that endeavor later in life. Time will tell! timdellinger on news.ycombinator.com
I would think the hacker community should be welcoming to a bit more girl power and I for one welcome our new double x chromosome overlords :) Shoom on news.ycombinator.com

So far left to go

However, (and I realize this will be controversial) imo this result doesn't contradict the general notion that girls (in mainstream American culture) are discouraged (by societal and cultural pressures) from engaging in science and engineering. Two of the three girls are Indian-American and these girls presumably don't face the same pressures that most other American girls face. Credo on news.ycombinator.com
Using patronizing terms and phrases like "girl power," "you go, girl," or "we can do it" in a story about achievements by females is not only bathetic, it probably reinforces the misleading stereotype of their scarcity. It's far more impressive that such young people have made this valuable contribution to science. ifbit on newser.com
The fact that you are making a big deal out of this shows that we still have a long way to go in moving forward in accepting everyone and anyone who is good at science, regardless of sex, gender or age. Stop treating these people as anomalies and respecting their abilities. Period. C. Anita Nunez on TechLand.Time.com
Having studied graduate level Math at UC Berkeley, I can tell you that there are consistent, major disadvantages for women in the sciences even in California. SatvikBeri on news.ycombinator.com

Schools must get better

In fifth grade, my science teacher asked me if I'd copied answers off the boy who sat in front of me, even though my grade average was 20 points higher than his. Nancye on news.ycombinator.com
In other words....America is becoming so scientifically degenerate that the only ones winning science awards are little girls. Boys no longer win in Science, and this is somehow deemed to be "progress." Fascist_Jack on newser.com

How do you interpret the results of the Google Science Fair? Is it newsworthy because girls won, or because some real smart kids are getting recognition?

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