Two star-struck Auckland teenagers are over the moon after a science project won them a zero-gravity flight.
Auckland Grammar students Patrick Zeng, 16, and Derek Chan, 17, beat thousands of entries to win the Asia Pacific category of the YouTube Space Lab competition.
A YouTube video of their experiment, looking at how to boil or freeze water in space, won them the competition.
The teenagers are among six students worldwide who will travel to Washington DC in the United States next month to take a zero-gravity flight and vie for the two supreme awards.
If that isn't a big enough buzz, one of the world's top scientist has also seen their experiment on YouTube.
"Since we're in the top six entries now, we know that Professor Stephen Hawking has watched our video, which is really amazing," Derek said.
Auckland Grammar School Principal John Morris was thrilled to hear of the boys' achievement.
"They deserve huge credit for their vision, hard work and energy," he said.
The Space Lab competition is run with help from a number of space agencies including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, otherwise known as NASA.
Two global winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on March 22.
The overall winner will get their experiment performed on the International Space Station.
Patrick and Derek are up against students from Spain, the United States, India and Egypt.
- © Fairfax NZ News MARIKA HILL
Last updated 05:00 28/02/2012
FLYING HIGH: Auckland Grammar students Patrick Zeng, 16, and Derek Chan, 17, beat thousands of entries to win the Asia Pacific category of the YouTube Space Lab competition.