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Google Science Fair 2015 challenges students to change the world

Google this week kicked off its fifth annual Science Fair, an initiative aimed at getting students between the ages of 13 and 18 to think outside of the box and come up with ideas for innovative projects across all scientific fields.

Any students having a hard time coming up with an exciting project can make use of Google’s rather neat ‘Idea Springboard’ webpage, where answering a few simple questions generates a load of links to inspiring articles and videos on your area of interest.

Related: This $1 foldable microscope could change science education as we know it

Prizes up for grabs include $100,000 in scholarships and classroom grants from Google and Scientific American; a National Geographic Expedition to the Galapagos; a chance to visit Lego designers at their headquarters in Denmark; and an opportunity to have a look around Virgin Galactic’s new spaceship at their Mojave Air and Spaceport.

This year’s contest will also see new awards honoring projects that address an environmental or health challenge, Google said.

Related: Scientists develop a brain decoder that can hear your inner thoughts

The Web giant’s Miriam Schneider announced the launch of Google Science Fair 2015 with some words of encouragement: “Big ideas that have the potential to make a big impact often start from something small. Something that makes you curious. Something you love, you’re good at, and want to try. So what will you try?”

Last year’s grand prize went to three friends from Ireland who created a microbiology project that focused on speeding up crop growth. Another award went to Arsh Dilbagi for his work on a breath-to-speech communication device designed to help people with locked-in syndrome and ALS.

If you’re a teen interested in taking up Google’s science challenge, be sure to submit your entry by May 18. Results will be announced later in the year.