Google and Hawking seek space mad teenagers

International Space Station
Image caption The winning experiments will be carried out on the International Space Station.

YouTube has enlisted the help of Prof Stephen Hawking in the hunt for budding young scientists.

The site - which is owned by Google - is launching a competition for teenagers to create an experiment that could be carried out in space.

Two winning ideas will be tested by the crew of the International Space Station.

Google chairman Eric Schmidt recently criticised science and technology education in the UK.

Delivering the annual McTaggart lecture in Edinburgh, Mr Schmidt said the country needed to reignite children's passion for subjects such as engineering and maths.

Zero G

In addition to having their experiment run in space, the winners will get to experience weightlessness on a zero-g airplane flight, and have the option to either undergo astronaut training in Russia, or to watch the rocket launch in Japan which takes their idea into space.

When the experiments are eventually run, the results will be streamed live on YouTube.

The competition is divided into two age groups. 14-16 years, and 17-18 years.

Alongside Prof Hawking, the judging panel consists of former Astronauts Leland Melvin, Frank De Winne, Akihiko Hoshide and noted "space tourist" Guy Laliberté.

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