YouTube Space Lab Competition Will Blast Teen Science Experiments Into Orbit

Two budding scientists will have their experiments carried out on the International Space Station.

Conducting science experiments in a classroom lab is so last year. Thanks to YouTube Space Lab, a global competition the video site is running in partnership with Lenovo, NASA, and the European and Japanese space agencies, teens will get to design their own space experiments. Two lucky winners between the ages of 14 and 18 will have their experiments conducted and live streamed from the International Space Station next year.

Space Lab is part of the organizers' joint commitment to getting students interested in science, technology, and space. Zahaan Barmal, Google's marketing chief for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, who came up with the idea for the competition, says it's an "extraordinary opportunity" for students. Indeed, on top of seeing their experiments live-streamed from the ISS, the two global winners can choose to travel to Tanegashima Island, Japan, to watch their experiment blast off, or wait till they turn 18 and get a once-in-a-lifetime astronaut training experience at Star City, an astronaut training center in Russia.

As Barmal explains in the video above students must make a two-minute video explaining their experiment and then upload it to YouTube by the December 7 deadline. Even 250 miles above earth, experiments must follow the scientific method. An impressive panel of scientists, astronauts and educators—including renowned professor Stephen Hawking and Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté—will serve as judges.

The Space Lab channel on YouTube also will serve as a permanent curated collection of the best space and science-related videos on the web. With this level of collaboration behind it, it's sure to be an inspiring resource for teachers looking for content to enhance their lessons and students looking to explore worlds beyond our planet.


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