Kids are encouraged to engage in scientifically rigorous thought by participating in the Breakthrough Junior Challenge, founded by Yuri Milner as part of his Giving Pledge. Students ranging in age from 13 to 18 and located around the world are encouraged to develop and submit short movies that help bring to life an idea, theory, or concept in mathematics, physics or biology. The student’s capacity for creativity and ability to express complex scientific concepts in interesting, instructive, and original ways are all considered throughout the grading process. Shortly after signing the Giving Pledge, Julia and Yuri Milner established the Breakthrough Prize Foundation intending to promote scientific endeavors and disseminate scientific concepts.
The Breakthrough Junior Challenge requires applicants to participate in many levels of judging before being considered for the competition. The Evaluation Panel Review is the first step of the process. Verification of the finalists, of whom there will be a maximum of thirty in total, was the previous step, and it lasted until September 4th.
In the judging stage known as the Popular Vote, members of the general public are allowed to vote for their preferred video. After all of the votes have been tabulated, there will be a total of just seven regional winners and one person with the highest score. Because of this, a Popular Vote Top Scorer will be determined. The Popular Vote Top Scorer winner will be announced in October, and a public posting of the finalists and regional winners will also occur at that time. As determined by the judges, the winner’s name will be revealed in November.
Amber Kwok, who came from Mauritius and was 18 years old when she won, was the sixth annual Breakthrough Junior Challenge champion. The won video explained Van Der Waals Forces and the Casimir Effect that Kwok prepared. Amber is the recipient of a prestigious college scholarship worth $250,000. She has decided to begin her studies at Stanford University in the fall of 2022. It was her science instructor, Shastri Doorgah, who would be awarded the reward of fifty thousand dollars. A brand new, state-of-the-art scientific laboratory for $100,000 will be donated to her school.
Kwok said in a press release: “I first heard about the Breakthrough Junior Challenge via Khan Academy, and I was instantly attracted by the notion of educating about science through video.” According to Kwok’s statement in a news release, “Science can help us uncover innovative answers to today’s global challenges and enhance our understanding of the secrets of the cosmos.” It is an accolade that has brought about significant transformation in my life. “I can’t wait for the next chapter and all of the amazing chances it will give,” said the speaker. “I can’t wait.”
In 2021, the Asian Regional Championship was won by Gornekk Suwattanapong, 17 years old and from Thailand. His fascinating video, “Black Holes and Time Travel,” discussed both topics. A young man from Chile named Farid Chomali Castro, who was just 17 years old at the time, won the Central/South America Regional Championship in 2021 with his film entitled “The Fifth State of Matter.”
The application period for the Breakthrough Junior Challenge that will take place this year has officially come to a close, and the panel of judges has completed their assessment and selection of the top 75 applicants. The Popular Vote round of the competition has just started, and the winner of that stage will be determined by the video submission that receives the most likes or interaction on Facebook and Youtube. This winner will then go directly into the championship round of the competition.
In 2015, Yuri Milner and Julia Milner developed the Breakthrough Junior Challenge, a worldwide video competition for high school kids. Recalling how early exposure to scientific concepts had galvanized his interest in the topic, Yuri Milner launched the competition as one of several strands of scientific philanthropy he launched as part of his Giving Pledge, a commitment to fund good causes that he joined along with other high-net-worth individuals worldwide.
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