Breakthrough Junior Challenge for Students

The Breakthrough Prize Foundation's third annual Breakthrough Junior Challenge, a global student science and mathematics competition, wrapped up at the 6th annual Breakthrough Prize ceremony on December 3, 2017. Hillary Diane Andales is the 2017 Breakthrough Junior Challenge winner, as well as the Popular Vote, Asia Regional Champion!

Students were invited to produce a video explaining an important and challenging concept or theory in life sciences, mathematics, or physics. The winner is awarded a $250,000 scholarship, their science teacher wins $50,000, and their school receives a state-of-the art science lab valued at $100,000.

The Breakthrough Science Lab follows 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. Each laboratory includes 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.

Barcoding Biodiversity in the Philippines

As part of last year's 2016 Breakthrough Junior Challenge, Hillary Diane Andales was the Popular Vote winner and her high school was awarded a new science lab for the Eastern Vismayas Campus of the Philippine Science High School System (PSHS). DNALC-style desks were installed and a full set of equipment arrived just in time for Executive Director Dave Micklos to hold a workshop to introduce PSHS teachers to methods for lab instruction in molecular genetics and genomics.

As part of the workshop, Dave took the educators on a field trip to conduct a mini ecological study using DNA barcoding to identify plants, animals, and fungi from the local habitat.


BREAKTHROUGHBREAKTHROUGHIn the first year of the Challenge, Ryan Chester from North Royalton High School won a Breakthrough Science Lab for his school.


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