Congratulations to Deanna See of Singapore and Antonella Masini of Peru, winners of the second annual Breakthrough Junior Challenge, a global student science and mathematics competition designed to inspire creative thinking about fundamental concepts in the life sciences, physics or mathematics. Deanna and Antonella will receive a $250,000 scholarship, the science teachers who inspired them will win $50,000, and their schools will get a new $100,000 Breakthrough Science Lab. The winners attended the televised Breakthrough Prize ceremony on December 4, 2016.
"The Breakthrough Junior Challenge encourages students to better understand the worlds of science and mathematics and to have some fun along the way," said Breakthrough Prize co-founder Dr. Priscilla Chan. "Antonella and Deanna both have bright futures in science and I am so excited to honor their work. They are also incredible storytellers, whose ability to capture these complex ideas in accessible and exciting ways is truly inspiring. I cannot wait to see how they will change the world."
Entries from 146 countries were received in the 2016 installment of the global competition, which kicked off on September 1, 2016. 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 Mark Zuckerberg's fund at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and a grant from the Milner Global Foundation.
Students ages 13 to 18 from around the world were invited to produce a video (5 minutes max) explaining an important and challenging concept or theory in life sciences, mathematics, or physics. The submissions were judged on the students' ability to communicate complex scientific ideas in the most engaging, illuminating, and imaginative ways.
The Breakthrough Science Lab will follow the blueprint for teaching labs developed at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s DNA Learning Center. This proven design has been adopted by partner institutions worldwide. To encourage student engagement and collaboration, the lab features flexible workplaces with minimal clutter. The laboratory will include a complete set of equipment needed to implement the DNALC’s cutting-edge molecular biology curricula, highlighted in the popular textbooks DNA Science and Genome Science.