YouTube announced on Monday plans to launch YouTube Space Lab, a challenge for students worldwide to create an experiment which will be conducted in space and the chance to receive out of this world space-oriented grand prizes.
YouTube said the two winning experiments submitted by high school students aged 14 to 18, chosen by a panel of scientists and astronauts, will be performed aboard the International Space Station (ISS) in a live stream on YouTube from 250 feet above Earth.
As a company committed to the next generation of scientists, YouTube launched Space Lab to allow ordinary students the extraordinary opportunity of having their experiment carried out in space, Google's Head of Marketing Operations Zahaan Bharmal, who created Space Lab, said.
The Space Lab challenge, made possible through partnerships with Lenovo, NASA , ESA and JAXA, is an education initiative combined with the latest technology, YouTube officials said.
Space Lab is part of YouTube's larger commitment to highlighting and providing access to the wealth of educational content availableon YouTube as well as Lenovo's focus on equipping students with 21st century skills via information technology, YouTube said in a press release. The project is part of YouTube's educational channel, YouTube.com/EDU.
Judges including the likes of professor Stephen Hawking, NASA's William Gerstenmaier, former NASA astronaut Leland Melvin, ESA astronaut Frank De Winne, JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte, will evaluate two-minute long student-submitted videos describing possible experiments in either biology or physics.
Student submissions will be divided into two age groups, 14 to 16-years-old and 17 to 18-years-old, where two winners from across the globe will have their experiment performed on the ISS in space in addition to receiving a ZERO-G flight and a Lenovo IdeaPad. The two winners, announced in March 2012, will get to choose one grand prize: a trip to Tanegashima Island in Japan to watch their experiment take off to the ISS or exclusive astronaut training in Star City, Russia after the student turns 18.
Our goal is to encourage students to explore the world of science, earthbound and beyond, by first accessing YouTube, and ultimately space, Bharmal said.