Bengaluru boy Samay Godika has emerged as the winner of the Breakthrough Junior Challenge with $400,000 (over Rs 2.9 crore) as the prize money. While Samay, 16, a student of National Public School-Koramangala, will receive a $250,000 (over Rs 1.8 crore) college scholarship, his ninth and tenth grade science teacher, Pramila Menon, who encouraged his interest in life sciences and tutored him after school to encourage his curiosity about scientific ideas, will win a $50,000 (over Rs 36 lakh) prize.
In addition, his school will receive a state-of-the-art science lab valued at $100,000 (over Rs 72 lakh). The Breakthrough Junior Challenge is a global science video competition designed to inspire creative thinking about fundamental concepts in the life sciences, physics, and mathematics. Students between 13 and 18 years are invited to create original videos (up to three minutes) that illustrate a concept or theory in the physical or life sciences.
The submissions are evaluated on the students’ ability to communicate complex scientific ideas in the most engaging, illuminating, and imaginative ways. Samay’s video, submitted in the life sciences category, focused on circadian rhythms, the 24-hour biological processes that can affect simple daily experiences such as waking up for school or jet lag.