CASE STUDY

Google Science Fair

CHALLENGE

The annual Google Science Fair honors precocious teens that are tackling some of the world’s biggest problems. In a global online competition, our future’s brightest young minds compete for significant scholarship and mentorship opportunities. Partners like National Geographic, LEGO, and The Scientific American help make these prizes possible. Google’s name makes the science fashionable—branded content at a distance, if you will. And when the tech giant approached us about making a series of short films for the event, we made the opportunites palpable.

We partnered with a London production company for our shorts. Each video profiles one of the fair’s finalists. Kids, often more than adults, have a mind for changing the world. They’re less encumbered by societal pressures and personal ambition, and as such they’re more empathetic to our world’s disenfranchised. So we got to know the kids and we gave the world a sense of who they are—their families, their friends, their hobbies—because they are first and foremost kids, ordinary aside from the visions and ingenuities that make them extraordinary. The kids’ personalities sold themselves. Google came along for the ride. And we provided the vehicle.

So how did we do that?

In one short, we open with a fast-paced collage of shining industry: screws, saw blades, showers of sparks. The physical emblems of innovation. And we pose the question in text: “How can we deliver vaccines to remote locations?”

16-year-old Anurudh Garneson tackled this particular challenge. During his childhood in India, his grandmother carried him more than 10 miles to get a vaccine, only to arrive and discover that the vials were too hot and therefore unusable. Now in Clarksburg, Maryland, Anurudh is pioneering a movement called VAXXWAGON, an enterprise that delivers transport vaccines by bicycle. The vaccines are refrigerated through the power generated by the bike’s spinning wheels. It’s genius, truly.

Tall task for a teenager? Sure, but too tall? Never. We wanted to show that you don’t have to have a Ph.D. to use science to change the world. Anurudh is, above all, a fun-loving kid. We showed him hiking with friends, playing tennis, riding his bike, and fishing with his dad. We captured the flora and fauna of Clarksburg. We followed his project from the classroom to the lab to the real world. And from this local, granular perspective, we documented the rise of a global solution from an unlikely source. Anarudh was nearly one of the 1.5 million kids that die every year because they don’t have access to proper vaccines. Now Google’s given him a platform to fix that problem. And we’ve given him the visibility to inspire the next generation.

Production Stills