Science Channel, Overbrook lift off


Science Channel's 10-year-old "Young Scientist Challenge" is getting a Hollywood treatment this year with Will Smith's Overbrook Entertainment coming on board to produce the two-hour special.

The program, which will mark Overbrook's first foray into nonfiction television, is slated to air Jan. 18.

"YSC" will chronicle the journey of 10 middle school students — selected from thousands of applicants nationwide — from their hometowns to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Washington, where they will compete in the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge.

Tied to NASA's 50th anniversary, the theme of the competition this year is "The Science of Space." The finalists will face off in mini-competitions, scientific presentations and an innovation challenge for the top prize: a $50,000 savings bond and the title of America's Top Young Scientist.

Smith will executive produce the special with fellow Overbrook Entertainment partners James Lassiter and Ken Stovitz. (partialdiff)