Have you asked a question today?
What did you do with it?
Did it take you somewhere new?
Did it bring you here?”
The Google Science Fair asks the above to introduce a science challenge aimed at kids. With a well designed set of incentives, trips from National Geographic Explorer to the Galapagos and to Lego’s headquarters, scholarships, and hands on time at notable science facilities like CERN, the challenge designers have done an excellent job aligning incentives with the theme challenge. What makes an incentive aligned? It largely depends on the purpose of the challenge. Challenges can be designed to do any number of things from building a group identity to finding a solution for a pressing problem or simply to promote awareness of a product or service. In this case Google and their partners are creating an educational experience to build kids love and passion for discovery and invention. While they could have chosen to award cash or grants, Google chose to reward winners with experiences that reinforce the theme of the challenge. In every challenge entrant participation has a relationship to the incentives offered. By offering meaningful incentives for kids aligned with the challenge theme Google will likely attract just the types who will build the future.