NASA has partnered with Space Adventures to support the YouTube Space Lab competition that invites students to envision and design their own experiment with the ultimate prize -- flying it on the International Space Station.
The contest opened on October 11, and will continue to accept submissions in the form of a two-minute video through December 7. Students age 14 to 18 can become researchers by proposing up to three separate original entries on the official YouTube Space Lab contest Web site. Participants can enter as individuals or in teams of up to three people. Entries must include an experiment question, hypothesis, method, and expected results.
Judges include professor Stephen Hawking and NASA's Associate Administrator for Education, Leland Melvin. The final selection includes a public vote, which will begin via YouTube on January 3, 2012.
As an award, six regional finalists will travel to Washington, DC, to participate in a zero-g flight. On March 13, two global winners will be announced. The global finalists will get to travel to either Russia, where they can engage in an authentic astronaut training experience, or Japan to watch their experiment blast off into space. They also receive the grand prize of having their experiments performed on the space station and streamed for the public via YouTube.
Proposed experiments will focus on either life sciences or physics with the hope that the entrants will take their experiences with them as they continue in their education, perhaps towards careers in math and science.