Google doles out $10M for feel-good projects

Google has announced the five winners of its Project 10^100 contest

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) has announced the five winners of its Project 10^100 contest, a competition that is rewarding big thinkers in education, government, science and transportation with a combined $10 million to pursue their efforts.

Google launched the Project 10^100 contest for ideas to change the world two years ago and got swamped with 150,000 ideas from people in more than 170 countries. Google boiled the submissions down to 16 and asked the public to vote, which has resulted in the five winning ideas.

It's been quite the philanthropic week, with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pledging $100 million to help Newark, N.J.'s struggling school system.

Also see: 10 coolest experiments from Google Labs

As for Project 10^100, the winning ideas are as follows, as outlined on Google's blog by Google's VP of Marketing, Lorraine Twohill:

• The non-profit Khan Academy gets $2 million to expand its high quality teaching video catalogue with more courses and to provide them in more languages.

• A non-profit called FIRST that fosters interest in science and engineering through student team competitions has been awarded $3 million to support new student-driven robotics team fundraising programs so that more students will take part.

Public.Resource.Org gets $2 million to further its efforts to make public government documents available online in the United States. Specifically, the funding will go toward its Law.Gov initiative to make all primary legal materials in the U.S. available online.

Shweeb wins $1 million to work on its human-powered short-to-medium distance transport system for an urban setting. Think pneumatic tubes mixed with a monorail for people.

• The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) gets $2 million to fund expansion of its graduate-level math and science programs for Africa.

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