(Breakthrough, 1.May.2019) — The Breakthrough Prize Foundation announced today the launch of its fifth annual Breakthrough Junior Challenge, a global student science and mathematics competition designed to inspire creative thinking about fundamental concepts in the life sciences, physics and mathematics. All students must register at https://breakthroughjuniorchallenge.org and submit completed entries between May 15 and June 15, 2019.
Students ages 13 to 18 from countries across the globe are invited to create original videos (up to three minutes in length) that illustrate a concept or theory in the life sciences, physics or mathematics. The submissions will be judged on the students’ ability to communicate complex scientific ideas in the most engaging, illuminating and imaginative ways.
One winner will be recognized and awarded a $250,000 college scholarship. The science teacher who inspired the winning student will win $50,000. The winner’s school will also receive a state-of-the art science lab, designed by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and valued at $100,000.
“Young people remind us to stay curious about the world around us,” said Sal Khan, founder of Khan Academy, partner with the Breakthrough Prize Foundation. “The Breakthrough Junior Challenge encourages young people to dive into that curiosity, create something meaningful and develop a life-long love of learning. We’re proud to support these young minds through this Challenge.”
The new Breakthrough Junior Challenge competition calendar can be found at https://breakthroughjuniorchallenge.org/timeline. A launch video with details on the Challenge can be found on YouTube at 2019 Breakthrough Junior Challenge: Have You Heard About the Challenge?
The Breakthrough Junior Challenge will once again include a regional Popular Vote, which this year will be held from September 5th through September 20. The Popular Vote will take place on the Breakthrough Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BreakthroughPrize, and its winner will gain automatic entry to the final round of the overall competition.
For the Popular Vote contest, up to 30 videos will be displayed on the Breakthrough Facebook page.
These will include the two top-scoring submissions from each of the seven Geographic Regions (see list below), as well as remaining top-scoring videos from a judging review by the Evaluation Panel of the Breakthrough Junior Challenge.
People from around the world will have a chance to vote for their favorite overall video in the contest, as well as their favorite video from their own region. The seven regions are North America (US/Canada); Central America/Mexico/Caribbean/South America; Europe; Asia (including China); India; Middle East/Africa; and Australia /New Zealand.
The video with the highest number of combined likes, positive reactions (e.g. “love”, “haha”, “wow”), and Shares will be declared top scorer in the 2019 Popular Vote Challenge. The top scorer will progress automatically to the final round, bypassing the next round of judging and entering the running for overall Challenge winner.
The video submissions will be reviewed by Breakthrough Prize laureates and other leaders in the fields of science, technology, and education. In addition to creating and producing their own video entries, competitors must also participate in a round of peer-to-peer assessment, in which they score some of their fellow Challengers’ submissions.
As in previous years, the 2019 Breakthrough Junior Challenge winner will be announced at the internationally broadcast Breakthrough Prize awards ceremony, live from Silicon Valley, details of which will be announced at a later date.
The winner of last year’s Breakthrough Junior Challenge was Samay Godika from India. His video, which focused on circadian rhythms, can be viewed on The Breakthrough YouTube page. Godika, who says winning the contest was “life-changing,” made a second video describing the experience.
Since its launch, the Breakthrough Junior Challenge has reached 190 countries, and the 2018 installment of the global competition attracted more than 12,000 registrants. The contest is designed to inspire creative thinking about fundamental concepts in the life sciences, physics, and mathematics.
The Breakthrough Junior Challenge is a global competition to develop and demonstrate young people’s knowledge of science and scientific principles; generate excitement in these fields; support STEM career choices; and engage the imagination and interest of the public-at-large in key concepts of fundamental science.
About the Breakthrough Prize
For the seventh year, the Breakthrough Prizes will recognize the world’s top scientists. Each prize is $3 million and presented in the fields of Life Sciences (up to four per year), Fundamental Physics (one per year) and Mathematics (one per year). In addition, up to three New Horizons in Physics and up to three New Horizons in Mathematics Prizes are given out to junior researchers each year. Laureates attend a live televised award ceremony designed to celebrate their achievements and inspire the next generation of scientists. As part of the ceremony schedule, they also engage in a program of lectures and discussions. Information on the Breakthrough Prizes is available at breakthroughprize.org.