Before you start
Before doing anything, get familiar with the important stuff.
Before You Start
The Google Science Fair is a global online competition for students ages 13 to 18. We’re thrilled you’ve decided to take part, so here’s what happens next.
First things first, do you have a Google account? If not, you’ll need to sign up for a free one. Once you have your account, you can register for the competition.
After registering, please read through all the competition information below. We’ve got a ton of resources to help you get your idea off the ground and give you the best chance of winning. Take a look before you start. You never know, it could make all the difference.
What are the most important things to know? Here are our top ten tips.
1. Follow the rules.
Review them carefully before you start your project. That way you won’t overlook anything and risk having to make big changes, or even get disqualified.
2. Don’t procrastinate.
Plan your project timeline carefully and give yourself a buffer. That way, if any issues arise (technological or otherwise), you won’t have to panic about running out of time.
3. Stay safe.
Sorry, but certain experiments simply aren’t allowed and if you don’t follow our guidelines you’ll be disqualified. Avoid danger - make sure you read the experiment guidelines.
4. Get parental consent.
Submit permission forms from parents or guardians for all your team members before the deadline, or we won’t be able to judge your project. Learn more here.
5. Go public.
If you’re submitting YouTube videos and Google Slides presentations and want the judges to see their brilliance, make sure to set their share options to “Public.”
Once you’ve uploaded your video to YouTube, go to “My Videos.” Select yours, click on the Actions drop down menu, and then choose “Public.”
Open your presentation in Google Slides, click on “Share” (on the top right), click “Get shareable link,” and confirm that it is set to “Anyone with the link can view.
For more information on using Google Slides or YouTube, read more in the FAQ.
6. Think like a judge.
Read the criteria to find out how our judges will evaluate your project.
7. Use Google tools.
Our tools (including Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drive and Hangouts) are designed to help you collaborate. Use them to share ideas within your classroom and across the world.
Some ideas aren’t best conveyed by text alone. You can enhance your project site with graphs, charts, images and videos. Just make sure everything is publicly viewable.
8. Use only your own work.
Plagiarism means passing off other people’s words, ideas or work as your own. There’s no other way to say this: it’s a very bad thing to do and will get you disqualified instantly. If you need help with any aspect of your project (say, from a teacher, parent or mentor), that’s fine; just include that person’s name -- and mention how they helped you -- in the Acknowledgements section. In other words, say thank you. You’ll be following the rules and showing off your impeccable manners, too.
9. No logos or music, please--and only your own images and videos.
Sorry, logos and music aren’t allowed. Images and video are fine, as long as you created them yourself.
10. P.S.: Have fun!
Sure, you should work hard. But think of this as a great opportunity to explore one of your passions. Enjoy this time to think independently, publish your work online, and share big ideas with the global science community (a pretty cool opportunity, if you ask us.)
Official guidelines and tips for running your experiment.
We want you to have fun experimenting and discovering new things, but we want you to stay safe doing it. So before doing anything, read through and make sure you stick to the official rules. If your project doesn't follow the rules, it will be disqualified.
If you’re not familiar with the Scientific Method or the Engineering Design Method (or you need a quick refresh) the Student Pack is a good place to start. It’ll help you shape your scientific question and, when you’re ready, get things heading in the right direction.
Starting a science project can sometimes feel a bit daunting at first. The trick is to think big but start small. Our Experiment Resources page has more about that, plus guidance for before and during your experiment.
Building your project site
How to make your project site stand out and how to submit it.
In order to submit your project and results, you will need to build a project site. It’s easy and all done within your Dashboard here on GoogleScienceFair.com.
Below are some things to think about as you build your project site, plus a few tips to make it stand out and give you a chance of scooping a prize.
Before you hit submit...
Make sure you’ve carefully reviewed the Official Submission Checklist. You can always make changes to your project until the submission deadline.
The criteria judges use to evaluate your project.
One of the questions you’re probably thinking is, what will the judges be looking for in my project?
During the first judging stage, judges will focus on what you’ve submitted as part of your project site. This is your chance to show off your very best work. Take the time to review your project with these tips and the criteria listed below.
The highest-scoring projects from the first judging round will be reviewed closely before we announce the 90 regional finalist projects. From that group, judges will then select finalists from the top 20 projects across the globe to join us in Mountain View, California to compete for the Grand Prize.
Below you can find the criteria judges will be using as they evaluate your project.
Judging for special prizes
Community Impact Award
The Community Impact Award, sponsored by Scientific American, honors a project that can make a practical difference by addressing an environmental, health or resources challenge. Submissions should be innovative, easy to put into action, and able to be expanded to other communities. All participants will be considered for this award as part of the main judging process.
Google Technologist Award
The Google Technologist Award celebrates a project which has the potential to make a difference, through outstanding and innovative work in the computer science and math fields.
The Virgin Galactic Pioneer Award
The Virgin Galactic Pioneer Award honors a project in the area of physics.
The National Geographic Explorer Award
The National Geographic Explorer Award honors a project in the natural sciences.
The LEGO Builder Award
The LEGO Education Builder Award honors those students who use an innovative, hands-on approach to solve some of the greatest engineering challenges.
The Scientific American Innovator Award
The Scientific American Innovator Award honors a project in pure science.
The Inspiring Educator Award
The Inspiring Educator Award honors the contributions of one outstanding educator who goes above and beyond to encourage their students to achieve great things.
The Incubator Award
The The Incubator Award celebrates a student between the ages of 13 and 15 whose project shows extraordinary promise in a field of science or engineering.
What happens after the submission deadline passes?
After the competition closes, make sure to stay in touch! We’ll be having lots of great Hangouts and other events up until the announcements.