The Google Science Fair Girls Will Save Us All From The Kardashians

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The last session of TedxWomen conference proudly displayed the projects of the “Google Girls,” the three winners of Google’s 2011 Science Fair. And at a time in which even 11-year-olds are encouraged to spend most of their days getting bikini waxes, seeing these three teens lecture about environmental issues and health concerns is just what young girls need to cleanse their palates of The Kardashians.

Lauren Hodge, only 14 years old and in the 11th grade, was inspired to begin her science project after reading about a lawsuit against restaurants over the quality of grilled chicken. Later, Lauren watched her mother prepare grilled chicken and noticed that the edges of the meat turned white after being slathered in lemon juice. She developed a hypothesis from there and researched various labs in which she could test out her theory.

Naomi Shah, winner in the 15 to 16 year olds category, was deeply troubled by her father and brother’s year-round chronic allergies. After learning that humans spend 90% of their lives indoors, she deduced that what was plaguing her family had much to do with controllable environmental factors, like cleaning out air vents and stripping carpets.

And Shree Bose, 17 years old and the grand prize winner, decided that she wanted to pursue cancer research after her grandfather passed away from the disease. Her winning project focused on identifying a certain protein that impacts the affects of chemotherapy in patients.

Hearing the stories and ambitions of these bright young ladies made me not only excited to see their names in headlines again, but also hopeful for all those little girls at home who for once, are seeing girls in their Google searches or in their social media feeds who didn’t make a sex tape, send suggestive pictures to a boyfriend, get a nose job, or sleep with a much older man. Considering that those are most often the reasons that catapult young girls to notoriety, these smart exceptions managed to get noticed for something else.