What is YouTube Space Lab?

YouTube Space Lab is about space. We believe that space is more exciting and accessible than ever. The YouTube Space Lab channel is a place to discover space by watching amazing videos from across YouTube. If you're 14 - 18 years old, we're also challenging you to come up with a science experiment which could be streamed live on YouTube from the International Space Station along with the chance to win other amazing prizes. Some incredible partners and a distinguished panel of expert judges from around the world are helping to make this happen.

Why should I participate in YouTube Space Lab?

YouTube Space Lab is an amazing competition and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity which you could be a part of. All you have to do is come up with an idea. It should be fun and you might learn some interesting stuff about space in the process. If that's not enough, we're giving you the chance to win some great prizes. From all the submissions we get, one winning team (or individual if you enter alone) will be chosen in each region of the world (The Americas; Europe, Middle-East and Africa; Asia-Pacific) from each of the two age categories (14 - 16, 17 - 18), making six regional winners overall. The regional winners will win a free trip to Washington, D.C. USA for a special event in March 2012, where they'll also get to take an exhilarating zero-G flight, which lets you experience weightlessness, and they'll each receive Lenovo IdeaPads. At the special event, two of the regional winners will be selected as global winners. The global winners' experiments will be performed by astronauts aboard the International Space Station and they'll win a amazing once-in-a-lifetime space experience of their choice.

How do I participate in YouTube Space Lab?

To understand everything you need to do to enter YouTube Space Lab, you should read the How to Enter guide in the Competition section on the channel. 

How old do I have to be to participate in YouTube Space Lab?

You need to be 14 to 18 years old on the day you submit your entry to the channel. At the time of submission, 13 year olds and 19 year olds are not eligible to enter the competition. 

Can I enter with others as a team?

Yes! You can enter as an individual or in a team with one or two friends who are 14 to 18 years old. Three is the maximum number of people who can be in a team.

Do I have to study science at school to enter YouTube Space Lab?

Not necessarily. YouTube Space Lab is open to any 14 to 18 years old. Whatever your background or experience, this is your chance to come up with a science experiment and actually have it performed in space!

What am I supposed to do to enter the competition?

First, you need to read the How to Enter guide on the channel. It explains how to form a team, register for the competition, and get parental consent. Then, you'll have to create a video no longer than two-minutes, upload it to YouTube, and submit it on the YouTube Space Lab channel. Your video should be an explanation of your idea for an experiment - you don't have to actually do the experiment but, if you want, you can have drawings or diagrams or prototypes that help you explain it and show how it works. We want you to get creative! This bit is important: there are special guidelines you need to take into account when designing a space experiment, whether it's a physical or biological experiment, and these can also be found in the How to Enter guide on the channel.

(Updated) What are the key stages of the competition?

Subscribe and keep coming back to the YouTube channel to stay up to date (not to mention, watch all the great space videos). Here are the key phases of the competition:

  • We'll be accepting entries from around the world from October 4th to December 14th, 2011.
  • The finalist voting period on the YouTube channel will be from January 17th to January 24th, 2012.
  • All the regional winners will win a special prize trip in March 2012 to the USA at which the global winners will be announced.
  • The global winners' experiments will be performed by astronauts on the International Space Station and live streamed on YouTube around the world in mid 2012.

What do I need to do in the video I submit?

Your video must talk through the following four things in your video, taking into account the guidelines explained in the How to Enter guide:

  • Your experiment question or topic: Explain what the scientific question is that you want to test in microgravity.
  • Your hypothesis: Your educated guess at answering the experiment question.
  • Your proposed method: Explain as simply as you can what method the astronaut should follow in order to conduct the experiment which will test the hypothesis in microgravity.
  • Predicted results: Answer what is the expected outcome of your experiment is and why. Check out the example entries on the channel to see how you could do this. Remember, be as creative as you can in your video explanation - you're trying to win over the judges and the YouTube community.  

What language does my entry have to be in?

Your entry should be in English, German, Italian, Spanish, French, Hebrew, Polish, Japanese, Russian, Dutch, Korean, or Chinese (Hong Kong or Taiwan). 

(Updated) By when do I have to submit my entry?

You need to submit your experiment by December 14th 2011. You need to get parental consent before you submit your entry so don't leave it until the last day! You should register as soon as you know you're entering the competition and you should try to upload your video at least a week before the deadline. 

Can I submit more than one video entry?

You can submit one, two, or three separate ideas as entries to the competition to increase your chances of being selected as a finalist. Submitting more than one entry is not a requirement though. 

Is it OK to get help from other people?

Absolutely! Don't hesitate to ask your teacher or parents for advice, for example, if you have questions or want help in coming up with your video or filming you. Remember, your video entry should be your actual idea though.

Where can I get help in uploading my video to YouTube?

Head over to YouTube’s Help Center (http://www.google.com/support/youtube/) which has lots of helpful information in case you are having problems with your video.

How will the finalists be chosen?

A panel of specialists will judge the videos according to the criteria explained in the Official Rules. This includes:

  • Your clear understanding of the scientific method.
  • How well you communicate your experiment idea.
  • The innovation and creativity of your experiment idea.
  • How well you present and the idea as a whole.

Scientists will also judge your experiment for its feasibility in being carried out in space. They'll check your video follows the guidelines explained in the 'How to Enter' section on the channel and that it could be adapted to actually be performed in space.

When will I know if I am selected as a finalist?

We'll get in touch with you shortly before the finalists are posted to the channel on January 3rd, 2012, and voting to select the winners begins.

What do I do while I wait?!

Do whatever you would normally do... but don't forget to keep coming back to the YouTube Space Lab channel! New playlists will be added regularly so come back and learn more about space by watching amazing space videos.

How will the winners be chosen?

Two things will decide which experiments get chosen to be performed on the International Space Station. The YouTube community will vote to chose a winner and a panel of renowned and respected judges from around the world will judge and rank the videos. Find out more about the judges in the Competition section of the channel.

What do the winners get?

Regional winners from around the world will win a trip to the USA where they'll get to take an exhilarating zero-G flight and also receive a brand new Lenovo® IdeaPad® U300s. At a special event, the two regional winners who have been selected as the global winners will be announced.

The global winners get their experiment performed on the International Space Station which will be live streamed on YouTube around the world. They'll also get an amazing space experience of their choice. They could go to Japan to watch their rocket blast off on its way to the International Space Station or they could, when they turn 18, take a one of a kind, genuine space training experience at the same facilities where Yuri Gagarin first trained to become a cosmonaut - the week long trip will include everything from a VIP tour of Moscow to a personalized space flight suit as a souvenir.

More details on the prizes can be found in the Official Rules.