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Google finally announces Project 10^100 winners

Five organizations have been selected to receive a total of $10 million as Google finally wraps up a project tied to its tenth anniversary two years ago.

Google has finally announced the winners of its Project 10^100 contest, which will award five different projects a total of $10 million.

The contest was first announced back in 2008 but has taken quite a long time to reach its conclusion, after Google changed the project to focus on "themes" rather than specific ideas. Sixteen themes were selected exactly a year ago, and the public was given an opportunity to vote on the themes most worthy of funding.

Organizations then submitted specific proposals for the five most popular ideas, and the list of winners follows below:

• The Khan Academy will receive $2 million toward funding its work on the "make educational content available online for free" theme. The academy does just that, with a library of over 1,800 videos with lessons on math, science, finance, and history.

• FIRST will receive $3 million for the "enhance science and engineering education" theme. FIRST, founded by Segway inventor Dean Kamen, tries to get young people excited about science and technology by producing team competitions, such as a robot-building competition for teenagers and a Lego-building competition for younger kids.

• Public.Resource.Org is getting $2 million for the "make government more transparent" theme. The group is trying to get support for an initiative to make public legal materials available at no cost: the court system currently charges 8 cents a page for access to legal materials filed in federal court through the PACER system, for example.

• Shweeb will receive $1 million toward the "drive innovation in public transport" theme. This company develops human-powered vehicles that resemble recumbent bikes on a monorail system.

• The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences will receive $2 million toward the "provide quality education to African students" theme. AIMS is located in Cape Town, South Africa, and tries to help talented college graduates go on to higher graduate education programs in math.