Antiquus: You are correct, it has been very difficult to get judges to show up.
However, in recent years it has become easier due to the large number of unemployed engineers who are looking for new ways to network. Unfortunate circumstances sometimes lead to opportunities in unusual places...
As a regular judge in your local science fair, you should be aware of how hard it is to get judges to show up at all. With the plethora of science fair-like activities (Intel's, FIRST robotics, Future Cities, Science Olympiad, etc.), efforts should go into better coordination and application of the few available volunteers. Adding one more event into the annual mix is just diluting the judging pool, and stretching the resources of the students.
Google is a fascinating company in many, many respects (blinding flash of the obvious there). I'm sure there have been other companies in history that have contributed so much to technology in so many diverse ways, but I'm not sure I can think of any. Maybe Xerox PARC? Bell labs?
There may come a day when Google isn't known first for search, but for autonomous vehicles (http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/what-were-driving-at.html), Operating systems, phones, mapping or a host of other technologies.
The other day, my son, learning to drive, suggested that it would be a lot easier if we just waited a bit and bought a "Google car."
As a regular judge in our state Science and Technology Fair, I think this idea from Google is GREAT!
"Welcome to the Google Science Fair! Google is looking for the brightest young scientists from around the world to submit interesting, creative projects that are relevant to the world today....The competition is open to students aged 13 to 18 from around the world working on their own or in a team of two or three."
Prize: A $50,000 scholarship, split equally between team members should a team win this prize.
The Other Tesla David Blaza5 comments I find myself going to Kickstarter and Indiegogo on a regular basis these days because they have become real innovation marketplaces. As far as I'm concerned, this is where a lot of cool ...