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The Breakthrough Junior Challenge: inspiring young minds with STEM

6 Oct 15  | CBSbutler
Only one day left to enter the Breakthrough Junior Challenge!

“Knowledge is humanity’s greatest asset. It defines our nature, and it will shape our future. The body of knowledge is assembled over centuries. Yet a single mind can extend it immensely. Einstein reimagined space and time. Darwin distilled the chaos of life to a single idea. Turing figured out what it means to think. Great scientists enrich us all.”¹

Are you the next Einstein, or today’s Turing? Do you have a passion for science, maths or technology, and fancy winning a $250,000 scholarship, as well as a brand-new, cutting-edge lab worth $100,000 for your school, and a $50,000 educational grant for the teacher who inspired your passion? If this sounds like you, you’d better get going, as you’ve only got until 3:59AM (UTC) Thursday to get your entry submitted!

The Breakthrough Prize and Khan Academy have joined forces to launch the Breakthrough Junior Challenge, an annual, global competition for science and maths students ‘to inspire creative thinking about fundamental concepts in the life sciences, physics or mathematics’. The Breakthrough Junior Challenge is ‘a global initiative 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’.

“This project is about unleashing young people’s capacity for fresh thinking and inspiring a new generation of scientists. We want to encourage students from around the world to share complex ideas with their peers,” said co-founder of the Breakthrough Prize, Dr Priscilla Chan.

To enter the competition, entrants must be aged 13-18, and submit an original video (up to 10 minutes in length) that brings to life a concept or theory in the life sciences, physics or mathematics. The submissions will be judged on ‘the student’s ability to communicate complex scientific ideas in the most engaging, illuminating and imaginative ways’. The entries will undergo a three-stage evaluation process, including a peer-to-peer scoring of fellow students’ submissions, followed by review by Breakthrough Laureates and other leaders in science, technology and education.

In addition to the scholarship and financial prizes, the winning student will also be invited to the Breakthrough Prize awards ceremony in Silicon Valley, where he or she will have the opportunity to meet with ‘giants of science, technology, media and the arts’. The awards ceremony will be televised live in the US on the 8
th Nov, followed by a worldwide broadcast on Fox and National Geographic Channels, during which the winning student’s film will be presented.

"Breakthroughs in science and math often start with a new way of seeing things. The goal of this prize is to inspire young people to explain big ideas in math and science in new and novel ways, possibly opening all of our minds to the mysteries of the universe and leading to the breakthroughs of the future!" said Khan Academy founder Salman Khan.

The Breakthrough Junior Challenge is funded by Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, and Yuri and Julia Milner, through the Breakthrough Prize Foundation, based on a grant from Zuckerberg’s fund at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and a grant from Milner Global Foundation.

Get registered
here and submit your video by 3:59AM UTC on Thurs 8th October (23:59ET 7/10/15) for your chance to win!


The Breakthrough Prize

Founded in 2012 by Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki, Jack Ma and Cathy Zhang, Yuri and Julia Milner, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, the Breakthrough Prize is an annual award honouring outstanding achievements in life sciences, physics and mathematics. The prize aims to celebrate scientists and generate interest and excitement in scientific careers.

Khan Academy

The Khan Academy is a non-profit organisation whose mission is to provide a world-class education to anyone, anywhere, for free. They ‘believe that students of all ages should have free, unlimited access to the best educational content, and that they should be able to consume and master this content at their own pace. In addition, [they] believe that there are incredible opportunities to use intelligent software development, deep data analytics and intuitive use interfaces to more effectively surface and present these educational resources to students and teachers around the world. [Their] library of content covers kindergarten to early college maths, science topics such as biology, chemistry and physics, and reaches into humanities with tutorials on economics, finance, music, philosophy and art history. [They] have over 25 million registered students and to date, [they] have delivered over 580million lessons and 3.8 billion exercise problems’.

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