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Editor's note: Today’s post comes from our first-ever Google Science Fair Grand Prize winner in 2011, Shree Bose. Back for the annual Science Fair five years later, here she shares her own story as a glimpse of what’s in store for this year’s winners. Thanks to our partners at Lego Education, National Geographic, Scientific American and Virgin Galactic for another great year of Google Science Fair. In case you missed it, you can still catch the livestream!


Five years ago to the day, I was a finalist in the first-ever Google Science Fair — a program where any student 13-18 is invited to solve the world’s biggest challenges through science and technology. I was fascinated by the peculiar ways cancer cells process energy and wondered if we might be able to target those processes. So, the idea behind my project was to study AMP kinase, an energy protein, to understand its importance in the way ovarian cancer cells develop resistance to drugs. I was 17 when I won the Grand Prize, and my life hasn’t been the same since.



Today 20 of the world’s brightest young scientists have that same chance ahead of them, and I am so excited and grateful to be here with them in Mountain View to re-live that experience.
The 2016 Google Science Fair finalists 

Meeting President Obama(!)
Official White House photo by Pete Souza
For me, the Google Science Fair took my passion for science and gave me a global platform to share it with the world. I went on to do my undergraduate studies at Harvard University, majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology with a minor in Global Health and Health Policy. My interest in using new metabolic tools to study cancer has led me to Duke University School of Medicine, where I’m currently pursuing an MD/PhD and looking forward to a career that brings together clinical medicine and basic science. But five years ago, it was the Google Science Fair that first provided me with the platform to share my ideas, unlocking doors to some incredible, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities: meeting President Obama, speaking at TEDx events all over the world and being included on Glamour magazine’s list of Top 10 College Women.


Back at Google today, I witnessed more than 500 students from local Bay Area schools — a majority that qualified for Title I funding — as they asked questions, found inspiration, and saw science and engineering in new, unexpected ways. Those students had a chance to talk to the finalists, from 9 countries, who are working on things like better diagnosing cancer, fighting drought with fruit, training robotic hands, developing compostable feminine sanitary products and so much more. (I also have to point out, this is the first year a majority of the finalists are female, which makes me especially proud!)
My sincere congratulations to all of this year’s Google Science Fair finalists and winners. You might “just” be teenagers, but you’re also amazing researchers, entrepreneurs, technologists and explorers who are challenging themselves — and all of the rest of us — to make things better. To quote last year’s Google Science Fair winner (and my friend) Olivia Hallisey who is also back here this week as a judge: “Every one of us, no matter our age or background, can make a difference. But change doesn’t happen overnight, and it often starts with a question. So look at the world around you, and challenge yourself to make something better.

As for me, the Science Fair gave me the confidence to continue asking questions, developing a passion for science and engineering, and even to co-found Piper, a company focused on developing electrical engineering kits for kids to learn the basics of building hardware. I just can’t wait to see where you will be five years from today.

And finally, announcing the 2016 Google Science Fair winners:

The 2016 Google Science Fair winners!

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(Cross-posted on the Official Google Blog.)

What would the world look like if only 20 percent of women knew how to write? How many fewer great books would there be? How many important stories would go unreported? How many innovations would we lose? How many brilliant women would be unable to fulfill their potential?

That’s not just a theoretical question. Today, only a small minority of women know how to write code. That limits their ability to participate in a growing part of our global economy. It limits their ability to affect change as entire industries are transformed by technology. And it limits their potential to impact millions of lives through the power of code.

To change this trajectory, we need to do all we can to inspire women and girls that learning to code is critical to creating a brighter future for everyone. That’s why I’m excited to share that, today, Google’s Made with Code, together with YouTube, is teaming up with the Global Citizen Festival and millions of teen girls to ignite a movement for young women to change the world through the power of code.

Over the last five years, millions of Global Citizens have influenced world leaders and decision makers, and contributed to shaping our world for the better. As we’ve seen this movement grow, we’ve learned about some incredible women who saw problems in their communities and realized that the biggest impact they could have was through computer science. They’ve used an interest in computer science and tech to help the homeless, stop sexual assault, and bridge the gender gap in technology - check out their stories here:
These women are doing big things, blazing a path for the next generation of girls, but they can’t do it alone. The vast potential around using code to improve the world cannot be realized if there are only a few voices influencing how it’s shaped. That’s why, today, we’re inviting teen girls everywhere to join the movement. Our new coding project gives young women a chance to make their voice heard by coding a statement about the change they want to see in the world.

This week, hundreds of thousands of girls from around the country have already used code to share their vision for a better, more inclusive, more equitable world:

These coded designs will be displayed onstage at the Global Citizen Festival, as symbols of the many different voices from teen girls, standing up for the change they want to see in the world.
Together with musicians, sisters, YouTube sensations and newly minted coders, Chloe X Halle, teen girls are getting their start in code
Our efforts go well beyond this project. Made with Code is joining forces with Iridescent and UN Women to support the launch of the Technovation Challenge 2017 which gives girls the opportunity to build their own apps that tackle the real-life issues they see around them.

Please tune into the Global Citizen Festival livestream at youtube.com/globalcitizen on September 24 to catch all the action. And, more importantly, join us and encourage the young women in your life to try out coding and contribute their ideas for how to make a better future.

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(Cross-posted on the Official Google Blog)

The world is facing the largest refugee crisis since World War II. Last September, we invited people around the world to help us in supporting organizations on the ground — with Google.org matching every dollar. Since that time, Google.org has committed more than $16.5 million to refugee relief efforts, focused on immediate humanitarian assistance, information and connectivity, and education.

Clooney Foundation for Justice Grant
Today, we’re supporting the Clooney Foundation for Justice with a $1 million grant focused on education for refugee children in Lebanon. More than half of global refugees are under the age of eighteen, and in Lebanon, which is hosting the largest number of Syrian refugees per capita in the world, nearly half of those are Syrian refugee children who are currently out of school.

The Clooney Foundation for Justice is teaming up with SABIS, a global education network that has already taught many refugee children in Lebanon. SABIS is taking its accredited teaching methodology and making it accessible to more refugees in Lebanon by setting up semi-permanent schools in areas with a high concentration of refugee children. This grant will support expanding their efforts to develop a new school model, using digital tools, for up to 10,000 out-of-school children in Lebanon. Through our employee volunteering program, we’ll also provide technical expertise to help with everything from connectivity to cloud storage by having Googlers helping both on the ground and remotely.
This grant builds on our work with organizations who also support refugees in Germany, France, Turkey and Greece with access to education and learning opportunities. Collectively, our efforts across humanitarian assistance, connectivity and access to information and education will help more than 1 million refugees.

Information and Connectivity
In October 2015, we granted NetHope $900,000, and our employees from around the world helped set up WiFi hotspots and charging kits at key transit points along the refugee route in Europe. So far, more than 300,000 refugees have been able to access NetHope’s WiFi to access vital information. Googlers also helped build the site RefugeeInfo.eu with the International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, and others. The site is now accessible in 18 locations in Greece, Italy, Germany, Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia, and is being used more than 1,000 times a day.

We’re also working to help refugees in the United States get mobile connectivity by partnering with the International Rescue Committee to donate 1,000 Nexus devices and Project Fi wireless service to refugees in 24 cities across the country.

Education
In January, together with NetHope, we launched “Project Reconnect” — an effort to to equip German NGOs with 25,000 Chromebooks that help refugees learn more about local languages, resources, and job opportunities. To date, more than half of them have been delivered and used by nonprofits in Germany. Last year, we also gave a grant to Libraries without Borders to send their Ideas Boxes to create safe learning and playing spaces for children in refugee camps. These Ideas Boxes have been visited thousands of times in camps from Lesbos and Athens in Greece to the refugee camp of Grande Synthe in France and in Düsseldorf, Germany.
Discovering the resources of the Ideas Box in the Eleonas refugee camp, in Athens, Greece
A White House call to action
In June, we signed on as a founding partner of the White House’s Private Sector Call to Action for Refugees, an effort by the administration to bring together a cross-section of businesses to help make significant commitments that will have a measurable impact on refugees both in the United States and around the world. We’re participating in the conversation at the White House Summit on Refugees today in New York, and will continue to build on our efforts.

You can learn more about grantees and their work at google.org/refugees, and you can donate directly on our site and via the White House’s AidRefugees.gov.

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From the programmers behind Pokemon Go to the creators of chatbots, the impact of computer science (CS) is ubiquitous in our daily lives. This is because computer science education provides a way of thinking that focuses on problem solving, teamwork and a powerful way to express yourself - important skills for any career. And with a projected 1 million jobs going unfulfilled in computing-related roles by 2020, we need computer scientists from all backgrounds to bring their unique perspectives to solve real-world problems.

That’s why today, we’re excited to announce Careers with Code in the US, a free high school “CS + X” career magazine that shows how to combine your passions, your “X”, with computer science. We partnered with STEM specialist publishers Refraction Media to create a CS career magazine that illuminates the range of computer science careers and highlights the impact they have across industries. Readers can get to know people who use CS in their daily work in sometimes unexpected ways, such as Jonathan Graham.
A lifelong music fan, Jonathan learned to code as a way to mix live music on stage. One summer while visiting family in Pennsylvania, he was struck by the number of coal mines closing down in the region. Jonathan decided to put his CS skills to work by providing skill-based learning for laid-off coal miners, helping them explore new technical career opportunities. He is now the co-founder of the nonprofit Mined Minds Foundation, which aims to spur economic development by seeding technology hubs within the coal towns in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

In Careers with Code, you can read more about Jonathan’s unexpected career pathway and learn about 40 other unique stories. And if you’re an educator or work with high school students, Careers with Code can be a useful tool for helping your student explore computer science with resources including:


As Jane Margolis, author of Stuck in the Shallow End, puts it: “Computer Science can be about using the power of technology to create meaningful things for your community.” We hope that Careers with Code will inspire students to do just that -- and equip educators, librarians and counselors to celebrate and support them along the way.

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Over the past two years we have seen how Google Expeditions can help teachers bring lessons to life and take students to places they would never otherwise be able to go. With a virtual reality viewer, students can explore everywhere from Mars to the Great Barrier Reef to the inside of Buckingham Palace, without ever leaving the classroom.

Just last week, science teacher Mrs. Scott took her class inside the human circulatory system using the power of virtual reality and Google Cardboard at Twickenham Prep School in South West London. Students explored the human heart, lungs and blood vessels to watch oxygen-rich blood being distributed throughout the body. For Mrs. Scott, the real excitement has been seeing her students embrace science in a way they never had before.
Twickenham Preparatory School, South West London
“It is a fantastic teaching tool that engaged the children from the start, keeping their attention. I was then able to tell them extra information as we explored together.” Mrs. Scott said.

Starting today, we’re opening up our Google Expeditions Pioneer Programme to more schools across the UK. Working with the Google Arts and Culture team, we’ve connected with content partners across the world to create a wide range of new and exciting Expeditions, such as the new Natural History exhibit that brings you face-to-face with dinosaurs. In order for teachers to seamlessly include these Expeditions in their lessons, we’ve partnered up with Twig and TES to tailor this content to the UK curriculum with easy-to-use lesson plans.
An extinct world brought back to life through the "Meet the Dinosaurs" Google Expedition
Over the next school year (2016/17), we’ll be bringing “kits” containing everything a teacher needs to run a virtual school trip, including Google’s Cardboard viewers. Once they have the kit, a teacher is able to send synchronised three-dimensional 360° panoramas to each student’s Cardboard viewer directly from their tablet, pointing out areas of interest in real time and taking them on a journey of discovery.

In addition, the Expeditions app is now available on iOS. More teachers, including those who use iPads, will be able to share Expeditions with their students by using full-screen mode on the devices in place of a VR viewer.

If you want the Pioneer Programme to come and visit your school now is the time to sign up, spaces are limited! With over 200 Expeditions available, we’re excited for students in the UK to experience these virtual field trips.

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Last spring, I attended the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt / Google Technology Conference with two of my colleagues, Steve Ford and Dr. Richie Romero, in Mountain View. One of the many recurring themes we discussed was how to tie technology use to the practice of teaching. As we listened to Angela Larkin from Google talk about the Google Certification Program, we realized the power the program had to change teaching and meet our goals. It was right in front of us.

Every day, teachers should have the opportunity to learn how to engage students and get them excited about coming to class. Yet many districts focus professional development on features and functionality of tools instead of how to integrate tools into the lesson plan. Last year after we had an epiphany, our district introduced the Google Certification Program, which helps teachers learn how to collaborate, teach students teamwork and effectively use new tools in the classroom.

Four years ago, when our district rolled out Google Apps for Education, teachers weren’t trained how to use the tools. We simply expected them to figure it out on their own. Some tech-savvy teachers helped their colleagues, but most didn’t use the educational software and laptops because they didn’t know how to integrate them into their lesson plans. Our district had a technology training program, but it didn’t prepare teachers to use the tools to truly improve the learning experience.

Our goal with rolling out the Google Certified Educator Level 1 Program is to help teachers become more effective in their use of technology and create inspiring curricula and class experiences. This program trains teachers on the tools and pedagogy. In just three months, 100 teachers have completed the training. With the Google Certification Program, we’re challenging teachers to rethink how they can teach students to collaborate and build life skills. Our goal is to have more than 30 percent of our teachers Google Educator Level 1 certified. This would mean all of our students would be in a classroom at least once a day with a Google Certified Teacher.

At the same time that we rolled out the program, our district introduced the SAMR model, — which stands for substitution, augmentation, modification and redefinition and was developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura. Most teachers in our district simply viewed technology as a replacement for pen and paper, rather than a tool to encourage students to think creatively. We wanted teachers to understand how to use technology beyond substitution to enhance students’ learning and help them be more engaged in the lesson plan.
My 3 tips to run a successful professional development program

Our district has had several iterations of teacher training programs and in the last year, we’ve seen true change in how teachers are integrating technology and the pedagogy. Here are three reasons I think our program has been a success:

  1. Light lifting for schools: With the Google Certification Program, we didn’t have to develop coursework, and the training was free, aside from the $10 certification exam fee. The program was just what we needed because it focuses on collaboration and the Common Core, a set of standards for math and English literacy.
  2. Teacher incentives: To encourage teachers to complete the training, our district gives them a stipend. We pay teachers their hourly rate to complete the 14-hour training, amounting to about $500 per teacher or administrator. We feel strongly about providing this incentive because all of our teachers and administrators should take this training and this boosts participation. It’s changing the way they teach and learn.
  3. Buy-in with the digital literacy committee: It’s easier to get teacher buy-in when it’s a grassroots effort. To do this we enlisted the help of a digital literacy committee made up of teachers, administrators and site computer techs. That group of evangelists is effective at showing teachers the value of technology training and getting teachers excited about new tools.

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If it ain’t Baroque, don’t fix it: your favorite art contest is back! The 2016 Doodle 4 Google contest kicked off on Wednesday, where art-loving K-12 students from across the U.S., Guam and Puerto Rico are invited to bring their imagination to life in a doodle of the Google logo, using any medium they choose. The winning masterpiece will hang on the Google homepage for a day, where millions will enjoy it.
We like to think about what’s next. So we’re asking kids to imagine what awaits them in the years to come and represent that vision of this year’s theme: “What I see for the future…” Yes, that means anything they see — even if it includes flying dogs, living on a shooting star, the trip of their dreams, or for the true Futurists out there — perhaps a distant world filled with dazzling new technology of all shapes and sizes.

This year’s contest is going to be one for the record books; the future and the ways to depict it are limitless. That’s why we’ll have an all-star group of judges including our very own Google Doodlers help select the National Winner. In addition to the homepage showcase, the winner will receive $30,000 towards a college scholarship, and the opportunity to work with the Doodle team at the Googleplex in Mountain View. As an added bonus: Their home school will get to spend $50,000 on technology to help foster the next generation of professionals (and who knows, maybe future Googlers, too!).
Submissions are open until December 2, 2016. So for you teachers and community leaders out there: Encourage your kids and students to apply. We can’t wait to see what wonders await in their dreams for the future.

And now, we bid you farewell as we’re Van Goghing, Goghing, Gone.

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(Cross-posted on the Official Google Blog.)

Next week marks the grand opening of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). A museum 100 years in the making, the NMAAHC is much more than just a collection of artifacts. Within its walls, visitors will take part in an immersive journey into the important contributions of African Americans in the United States. It’s a mosaic of stories — stories from our history that are core to who we are as a nation. And we’re proud to help bring these stories to life with a first-of-its-kind 3D interactive exhibit and a $1 million grant from Google.org, part of our ongoing work on racial and social justice issues.

A new way to explore artifacts
A few years ago, Dr. Lonnie Bunch, the NMAAHC’s director, came to Google’s headquarters and shared his vision to make the museum the most technologically advanced in the world. I immediately knew I wanted to be involved, and pulled together people from across the company: designers who focus on user interaction, members of the Cultural Institute, engineers who work on everything from Google Maps to YouTube, and members of the Black Googler Network. For the past year, we’ve been working to deliver on Dr. Bunch’s vision.

Our team quickly learned that museums are often only able to showcase a fraction of their content and archives to visitors. So we asked ourselves: what technology do we have at Google that could help enrich the museum experience? We worked closely with the museum to build an interactive exhibit to house artifacts from decades of African American history and let visitors explore and learn about them. With 3D scanning, 360 video, multiple screens and other technologies, visitors can see artifacts like a powder horn or handmade dish from all angles by rotating them with a mobile device. The interactive exhibit will open in spring 2017.
Travis McPhail in front of the National Museum of African American History and Culture on one of many site visits to the museum in Washington, DC
Taking an Expedition through African American history
In addition to the interactive exhibit, we’re also launching two new Google Expeditions that take students on a digital journey through African American history. Earlier this year, we formed the African American Expeditions Council — a group of top minds in Black culture, academia and curation — to help develop Expeditions that tell the story of Africans in America. The Google Cultural Institute has also worked to preserve and share important artworks, artifacts and archives from African American history. With participation from the National Park Service, the Expeditions and Cultural Institute teams captured images of the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail, which commemorates the events, people and route of the 1965 Voting Rights March. A second Expedition, from the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, takes you around Dr. King's childhood home and the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he preached.
Screenshot from the new Google Expedition highlighting the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail, which commemorates the events, people and route of the 1965 Voting Rights March

Discovering and sharing new stories
At the end of this week, we're celebrating the opening of the NMAAHC during one of the most important weeks for African Americans in D.C., the week of the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference (ALC). On Friday night of ALC, we’ll salute NMAAHC Founding Director, Dr. Bunch, and the Congressional Black Caucus. The iconic Congressman John Lewis, an Honorary Member of our African American Expeditions Council, will be on hand to talk about the impact of Expeditions in telling the story that the NMAAHC will bring to life in so many important ways.

Day to day, I work on Google Maps, where we help people around the world find and discover new places. Working on this exhibit has given me a chance to help people discover something else — the ways African American history is vitally intertwined with our history as a nation. I’m proud of the role Google has played a role in taking people on that journey.

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(Cross-posted on the Google Research Blog.)

In K–12 computer science (CS) education, much of the discussion about what students need to learn and do to has centered around computational thinking (CT). While much of the current work in CT education is focused on core concepts and their application, the one area of CT that has not been well explored is the relationship between CT as a problem solving model, and the dispositions or habits of mind that it can build in students of all ages.

Exploring the mindset that CT education can engender depends, in part, on the definition of CT itself. While there are a number of definitions of CT in circulation, Valerie Barr and I defined it in the following way:
CT is an approach to solving problems in a way that can be implemented with a computer. Students become not merely tool users but tool builders. They use a set of concepts, such as abstraction, recursion, and iteration, to process and analyze data, and to create real and virtual artifacts. CT is a problem solving methodology that can be automated and transferred and applied across subjects.
Like many others, our view of CT also included the core CT concepts: abstraction, algorithms and procedures, automation, data collection and analysis, data representation, modeling and simulation, parallelization and problem decomposition.
The idea of dispositions, however, comes from the field of vocational education and research on career development which focuses on the personal qualities or soft skills needed for employment (see full report from Economist Intelligence Unit here). These skills traditionally include being responsible, adaptable, flexible, self-directed, and self-motivated; being able to solve simple and complex problems, having integrity, self-confidence, and self-control. They can also include the ability to work with people of different ages and cultures, collaboration, complex communication and expert thinking.

Cuoco, Goldenberg, and Mark’s research also provided examples of what students should learn to develop the habits of mind used by scientists across numerous disciplines. These are: recognizing patterns, experimenting, describing, tinkering, inventing, visualizing, and conjecturing. Potter and Vickers also found that in the burgeoning field of cyber security “there is significant overlap between the roles for many soft skills, including analysis, consulting and process skills, leadership, and relationship management. Both communication and presentation skills were valued.”
CT, because of its emphasis on problem solving, provides a natural environment for embedding the idea of dispositions into K-12. According to the International Society for Technology in Education and the Computer Science Teachers Association, the set of dispositions that student practice and internalize while learning about CT can include:
  • confidence in dealing with complexity,
  • persistence in working with difficult problems,
  • the ability to handle ambiguity,
  • the ability to deal with open-ended problems,
  • setting aside differences to work with others to achieve a common goal or solution, and
  • knowing one's strengths and weaknesses when working with others.
Any teacher in any discipline is likely to tell you that persistence, problem solving, collaboration and awareness of one’s strengths and limitations are critical to successful learning for all students. So how do we make these dispositions a more explicit part of the CT curriculum? One of the ways to do so is to to call them out directly to students and explain why they are important in all areas of their study, career, and lives. In addition educators can:
  • Post in the classroom­­ a list of the Dispositions Leading to Success,
  • Help familiarize students with these dispositions by using the terms when talking with students and referring to the work they are doing. “Today we are going to be solving an open-ended problem. What do you think that means?”
  • Help students understand that they are developing these dispositions by congratulating them when these dispositions lead to success: “Great problem-solving skills!”; “Great job! Your persistence helped solve the problem”; “You dealt with ambiguity really well!”.
  • Engage students in discussions about the dispositions: “Today we are going to work in teams. What does it mean to be on a team? What types of people would you want on your team and why?”
  • Help students articulate their dispositions when developing their resumes or preparing for job interviews.
Guest speakers from industry might also:
  • Integrate the importance of dispositions into their talks with students: examples of the problems they have solved, how the different skills of team members led to different solutions, the role persistence played in solving a problem/developing a product or service…
  • Talk about the importance of dispositions to employers and how they contribute to their own organizational culture, the ways employers ask interviewees about their dispositions or how interviewees might respond (e.g. use the terms and give examples).
As Google’s Director of Education and University Relations, Maggie Johnson noted in a recent blog post, CT represents a core set of skills that are necessary for all students:
If we can make these explicit connections for students, they will see how the devices and apps that they use everyday are powered by algorithms and programs. They will learn the importance of data in making decisions. They will learn skills that will prepare them for a workforce that will be doing vastly different tasks than the workforce of today.
In addition to these concepts, we can now add developing critical dispositions for success in computing and in life to the list of benefits for teaching CT to all students.

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Posted by Amit Sood, Director of the Google Cultural Institute

(Cross-posted on the Official Google Blog.)

Many millions of years ago, dinosaurs ruled the Earth and sea dragons were not just Hollywood creations, but fearsome predators that stalked the oceans. It’s a world that vanished long ago, but one that continues to fascinate those seeking to understand the origins of life on our planet.

Starting today, anyone, anywhere can explore this world on Google Arts & Culture. We’ve partnered with 50+ of the world’s leading natural history institutions to bring this lost world to life again online. More than 150 interactive stories from experts, 300,000 new photos and videos, and more than 30 virtual tours await you...
With just a few clicks, you can come face to face with a 180 million year old giant, as virtual reality raises the colossal sea dragon from extinction. Discovered in Dorset in the U.K. and residing at London’s Natural History Museum. The Rhomaleosaurus — to give it its formal name — can now be explored in 360 degrees.
We also used VR to bring the Giraffatitan back to life in Berlin’s natural history museum. Standing at 13 meters (42 feet), it’s one of the tallest dinosaurs that ever lived. It was twice as tall as today’s giraffes, and could easily put its head through a fourth floor window.

We wanted to give you a glimpse of how these colossal creatures actually looked. So we worked with ecologists, paleontologists and biologists to put virtual skin and flesh on the preserved skeletons. From the size of the eye to the position of the snout and the bend of the neck, the texture and creases of the skin were all painstakingly recreated, and verified by a team of scientists. For the best experience, use a viewer like Google Cardboard to look the beast in the eye.

In addition to the VR experiences, this global exhibition of natural history has plenty more for experts and armchair explorers alike:

  • Turn back time by 4.6 billion years with the help of the Natural History Museum by scrolling through the history of life from the origins of the solar system, through the rise and the fall of prehistoric worlds. 
  • See the giant sloth jaw that led Darwin to his groundbreaking theory of natural selection. 
  • Explore the diversity of nature from the Lion fish to the Paradise Birdwing and learn from birds about the art of flirting
  • View 3,000 species on display in one giant cabinet or find out how our own predecessors may have looked
  • With Street View, walk around dinosaurs in New York, explore 30+ natural history museums from to Australia to Russia and even go underwater with turtles in Brazil
  • Join YouTube’s Vsauce2 to discover the story of Martha, the last passenger pigeon.

The free collection opens today at g.co/naturalhistory and through the Google Arts & Culture mobile app on iOS and Android. And if you’re a teacher, there are more than 20 new Google Expeditions waiting for you and your classroom to discover. We hope you enjoy this journey through the history of nature as much as we do.

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“Where were you on 9/11?” has become the question of my generation. I can proudly answer by saying I was responding to the calls for help as an emergency medical technician in New York City. When my partner and I pulled up to the World Trade Center site, we looked up to see the second plane crash into the South Tower.

But for future generations, the memories of Sept. 11 will primarily be secondhand stories. That’s why the statement “Never Forget” has become central to my career.

In 2007, with the transition of a new teaching career, I entered my first classroom as a special education teacher in a Bronx middle school. I was standing just a few miles from Ground Zero on the 6th anniversary of 9/11 and realized this generation of students didn't really understand what transpired on that day. From that anniversary forward, I have made it my mission to teach about the events of that day, tell my personal story to students, and share information about the four coworkers I lost that day.

In 2011, my personal campaign of “Never Forget” came to life with the opening of the 9/11 Memorial, and later, the opening of the 9/11 Museum in 2014. Students could now experience the multitude of emotions and artifacts firsthand.

Now, on the 15th anniversary of 9/11, the 9/11 Memorial Museum has partnered with Google Expeditions to allow students and adults from around the world the opportunity to experience the Museum and its artifacts in an immersive, virtual journey.

The moment I put on the virtual reality viewer, I was in awe. I really felt like I was standing in the 9/11 Memorial Museum. As you navigate the space in virtual reality, nothing gets lost. All the feeling and emotions you would feel standing in the large spaces and exhibitions are translated to scale. As a teacher, I really found the program easy to use. The format outlines discussion questions grouped as beginner, intermediate, and expert. As an educator, I know students will want to look around and may get off task, but the program has a great way of redirecting students with arrows that bring them back to the lesson objective. There are several resources available for teachers on the Museum’s website that help scaffold pre and post lessons and highlight potential cross-content experiences for students.

As a first responder and survivor of 9/11, Google Expeditions has done a wonderful job of bringing the 9/11 Memorial Museum to life, and in doing so has allowed future generations to do what I hope, to “Never Forget.”

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While teachers are hard at work planning lessons and engaging students, they’re simultaneously learning new tools and methods. By teaching the teachers, education trainers play a critical role in schools, especially today when education technology is changing so rapidly.

For the last few years Google has provided a program for people who wanted to earn an official training certification from Google for Education. Today we are announcing the launch of the new and improved Google for Education Certified Trainer Program.
The new Certified Trainer Program
The new program still aims to equip people to provide training and support to teachers using Google tools to transform their classrooms. However we’ve made three major changes from the past program:

  • New Trainer Course: 7 new units of curriculum that help trainers improve their skills 
  • New membership benefits: updated resources and perks for Trainers 
  • More development opportunities: Stronger connections with Trainer community and exclusive look at new product launches

The Certified Trainers
There are already 1,800 Google Certified Trainers around the world who offer a range of professional development. For example, in Taiwan, Certified Trainer Mike Jung leads small after-school workshops to help teachers use Forms to conduct formative assessments. In the United States Certified Trainer Chris Walsh works closely with district leaders to plan and design professional development. Trainer Donna Teuber from South Carolina loves being able to work with educators over longer periods of time. She shared, “I love helping educators move from where they are to the place that they want to be. I love hearing the success stories from teachers and seeing their students’ work.”
Google for Education Certified Trainer Donna Teuber
A global community
Although Trainers are often leading the teaching, they’re simultaneously supporting each other. Certified Trainer Allison Mollica shared, “I live in New Hampshire -- a relatively small part of the world -- and now work globally. Just recently I have worked with Trainers from Thailand, Czech Republic, UK, Bulgaria, Tanzania, Philippines, Australia, and all over the US. I am always learning and creating new materials to share with them and help adult learners.”
Google for Education Certified Trainer Allison Mollica
Organizations around the world look to Certified Trainers for professional development. Luis Hernandez, from the Secretary of Education's office in Baja California, Mexico has employed Certified Trainers to support the teachers of the millions of students in the state. Hernandez said that the Trainers help teachers learn Google tools but, “most importantly, transmit their passion and motivation.”
Luis Hernandez, the Project Manager for the Baja California Secretary of Education
Get started
Join the community of Google for Education Certified Trainers. Visit the Certified Trainer website to learn more about the program and apply. Use the hashtag #GoogleET to share your ideas on social media.

Below are the key application dates:

  • October 12- Membership application open 
  • December 5- Deadline to apply 
  • End of December- notifications