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YouTube, Lenovo Will Put Student Experiments in Space

YouTube and Lenovo in cooperation with Space Adventures and space agencies, including the Canadian Space Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), are working together on YouTube Space Lab, a worldwide initiative that challenges 14-18 year-old students to design a science experiment that can be performed in space.

A prestigious panel of scientists, astronauts, and educators, including renowned professor Stephen Hawking, NASA’s Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations William Gerstenmaier, NASA’s Associate Administrator of Education and former Astronaut Leland Melvin, ESA Astronaut Frank De Winne, JAXA Astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield and Cirque du Soleil’s founder Guy Laliberté, will judge the entries with input from the YouTube community.  Students in two age categories, 14-16 years old and 17-18 years old, either alone or in groups of up to three, may submit a YouTube video describing their experiment to YouTube.com/SpaceLab.

Six regional finalists will gather in Washington, D.C. in March 2012 to experience a ZERO-G flight and receive other prizes.  From them, two global winners, one from each age group, will be announced and later have their experiments performed 250 miles above Earth and live streamed on YouTube.  Additionally, the global winners will get to choose a unique space experience as a prize: either a trip to Tanegashima Island, Japan, to watch your experiment blast off in a rocket bound for the ISS, or once age 18, a one-of-a-kind astronaut training experience in Star City, Russia, the training center for Russian cosmonauts. The remaining four regional winners will also receive a trip to the U.S., a ZERO-G flight, and a Lenovo IdeaPad laptop.

Students may submit a two-minute video now through December 7. The video can be as simple as an explanation on a blackboard or the demonstration of a mock-up in the classroom. Every video must, however, explain the following:

  • Experiment Question: The scientific question the entrant wants to test.
  • Hypothesis: An educated guess at answering the experiment question.
  • Method:  A simple explanation of the methods used to conduct the experiment testing the hypothesis in microgravity.
  • Results: The expected results of the experiment.

Entrants may submit up to three experiments in one of two scientific disciplines - either biological or physical sciences.  The top 60 finalists will be announced on January 3rd, at which time judging and public voting will begin. Global winners (two individuals/teams chosen from the regional winners, one in each age category) will be announced in the U.S. in March 2012.

If you know any students ages 14-18, make sure they head over to YouTube Space Lab to get started.