Samay Godika, 16 (India), Receives Top Honors and $400,000 in Educational Prizes for Original Videos Bringing Science Concepts to Life.
The Breakthrough Prize today announced Samay Godika, 16, a Boston native who now lives in India, as the winner of the fourth annual Breakthrough Junior Challenge, a global science video competition designed to inspire creative thinking about fundamental concepts in the life sciences, physics, and mathematics.
As the winner, Samay will receive $400,000 in educational prizes for himself, his teacher and his school. Currently a junior at National Public School-Koramangala in Bangalore, Samay will receive a $250,000 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 prize. Additionally, his school will receive a state-of-the-art science lab valued at $100,000.
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. Because he has family members who suffer from Parkinson’s and other neurological diseases, Samay is particularly interested in the correlation between circadian rhythms and the effectiveness of medical treatments.
The 2018 Selection Committee included Salman Khan, CEO, Founder, Khan Academy; author and educator Lucy Hawking; Mae Jemison, science literacy expert, former astronaut, and Principal, 100 Year Starship; retired NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly; Nima Arkani-Hamed, Professor of Physics, Institute for Advanced Study and Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics Laureate; Rachel Crane, Space and Science Correspondent, CNN; Huda Zoghbi, Professor of Pediatrics and professor of Neuroscience and Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine and Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences Laureate; Ijad Madisch, CEO, Co-Founder, ResearchGate; Pete Worden, Chairman, Breakthrough Prize Foundation, Executive Director, Breakthrough Starshot; Esther Wojcicki, Founder, Palo Alto High Media Arts Center; and Terence Tao, Professor of Mathematics, UCLA and Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics Laureate.
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.
Reference: Breakthrough Junior Challenge