Washington, DC (March 22, 2012) – YouTube, Lenovo, and Space Adventures today announced the two global winners of YouTube Space Lab (youtube.com/spacelab), the worldwide science competition that challenged 14-18 year-olds to design a science experiment that can be performed in space. Amr Mohamed from Egypt (17-18 year old age group) and Dorothy Chen and Sara Ma from the U.S.(14-16 year old age group) were awarded the honor at a ceremony in Washington, DC, attended by members of Space Lab partners including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The students will have their experiments conducted by astronauts 250 miles above Earth aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and live streamed to the world on a Lenovo ThinkPad laptop via YouTube later this year.
“Humanity’s future relies on moving beyond Earth,” said renowned scientist, Professor Stephen Hawking. “Realising this goal will require an entrepreneurial spirit and a new generation of scientists and astronauts. YouTube Space Lab is a wonderful initiative that helps inspire young minds around the world to take a greater interest in science and the future of space exploration.”
Amr Mohamed, 18, from Alexandria, Egypt, came up with an experiment to explore the question: “Can you teach an old spider new tricks?” Amr proposed investigating the effects of microgravity on the way the zebra spider catches its prey and whether it could adapt its behavior in this environment. “The idea of sending an experiment into space is the most exciting thing I have ever heard in my life,” said Amr. “Winning YouTube Space Lab means everything to me, to my family, and to the people of the Middle East.”
Dorothy Chen and Sara Ma, both 16, who attend Troy High School in Troy, Michigan, created an experiment that asks: “Could alien superbugs cure disease on Earth?” Dorothy and Sara want to send bacteria to the space station to see if introducing different nutrients and compounds can block their growth in the hopes of providing new tools to fight germs on Earth. “The idea that something that is your experiment being sent up into space and actually becoming a reality is incredible,” said Sara. “I definitely want to pursue science as a career,” added Dorothy.
Amr, Dorothy and Sara joined the four other regional winning teams in Washington, DC, this week to honor their achievements, with prizes including a ZERO-G flight, a Lenovo IdeaPad laptop and a special tour and dinner at the Udvar-Hazy Air & Space Museum at Dulles. YouTube and Lenovo held the awards ceremony at the Newseum in downtown Washington.
In addition to having their experiments performed in space, Amr, Dorothy and Sara will get to choose one of two unique space experiences: either a trip to Japan to watch their experiment blast off in a rocket bound for the ISS, or once they turn 18-years old, a one-of-a-kind astronaut training experience in Star City, Russia, the training center for Russian cosmonauts.
“Our goal with YouTube Space Lab has always been to encourage more kids to put their hands up in the classroom, to study and be inspired by space,” said Zahaan Bharmal, Google’s Head of Marketing Operations, Europe, Middle East, and Africa, and the man behind the idea of Space Lab. “I think we have shown that through this, the world’s largest classroom, kids around the world are excited by science and our three extraordinary winners serve as an inspiration to future scientists everywhere.”
“As the world’s leader in education PCs, we’re thrilled to support programs that turn students on to the sheer wonder of science, especially using technology like our ThinkPad laptops, which are the only ones certified for use on the International Space Station,” said Michael Schmedlen, worldwide director of education, Lenovo. “We look forward to seeing the winning experiments performed live from space not only for their contributions to advancing science and humanity, but also as a source of inspiration for creative minds around the world.”
For more information on YouTube Space Lab visit youtube.com/spacelab and stay tuned to the channel for more information on the live stream later this year.
YouTube is the world’s largest online video community, allowing millions of people to discover, watch, and share original videos. YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform, and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original-content creators and advertisers large and small. YouTube, LLC, is based in San Bruno, California, and is a subsidiary of Google Inc.
Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) is a $US21 billion personal technology company serving customers in more than 160 countries, and the world’s second-largest PC vendor. Dedicated to building exceptionally engineered PCs and mobile internet devices, Lenovo’s business is built on product innovation, a highly-efficient global supply chain and strong strategic execution. Formed by Lenovo Group’s acquisition of the former IBM Personal Computing Division, the company develops, manufactures and markets reliable, high-quality, secure and easy-to-use technology products and services. Its product lines include legendary Think-branded commercial PCs and Idea-branded consumer PCs, as well as servers, workstations, and a family of mobile Internet devices, including tablets and smart phones. Lenovo has major research centers in Yamato, Japan; Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, China; and Raleigh, North Carolina. For more information seewww.lenovo.com.
About Space Adventures
Space Adventures, the company that organized the flights for the world’s first private space explorers, is headquartered in Vienna, Va. with an office in Moscow. It offers a variety of programs such as the availability today for spaceflight missions to the International Space Station and around the moon, cosmonaut training, spaceflight qualification programs and reservations on future suborbital spacecraft. A wholly owned subsidiary, ZERO-G (www.gozerog.com) conducts weightless flights. The company’s orbital spaceflight clients include Dennis Tito, Mark Shuttleworth, Greg Olsen, Anousheh Ansari, Charles Simonyi, Richard Garriott and Guy Laliberté. Cumulatively, Space Adventures’ clients have spent almost three months in space, traveling over 36 million miles. For more information, please visit www.spaceadventures.com.