Calling All Students Ages 13-18 Years Old To Participate In Global Science And Math Video Contest

APRIL 3, 2018 – San Francisco – The Breakthrough Prize Foundation announced today the launch of its fourth annual Breakthrough Junior Challenge, a global student science and mathematics competition designed to inspire creative thinking about fundamental concepts in the life sciences, physics and mathematics. For the first time, the competition will implement an extended three-month submission period and a summer deadline. All students must register at and submit complete entries by July 1, 2018.

Students ages 13 to 18 from countries across the globe are invited to create original videos (up to three minutes in length) that illustrate a concept or theory in the life sciences, physics or mathematics. The submissions will be judged on the students’ ability to communicate complex scientific ideas in the most engaging, illuminating and imaginative ways.

One winner will be recognized and awarded a $250,000 college scholarship. The science teacher who inspired the winning student will win $50,000. The winner’s school will also receive a state-of-the art science lab, designed by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and valued at $100,000.

“Developing clear, compelling explanations of complex ideas is a great way for students to show they truly understand a subject. The Breakthrough Junior Challenge gives them the chance to do just that,” said Sal Khan, founder and CEO of Khan Academy, partner with the Breakthrough Prize Foundation. “We’re proud to support the Challenge again this year.”

The new Breakthrough Junior Challenge competition calendar can be found at A launch video with details on the Challenge can be found at

The Breakthrough Junior Challenge will once again host a regional Popular Vote contest, which this year will be held from September 7 through September 20. The Popular Vote contest will occur on the Breakthrough Facebook page at, and will be a separate challenge within the larger competition, with selected videos vying for automatic entry to the final round.

For the Popular Vote contest, up to 30 videos will be displayed on the Breakthrough Facebook page. They will include the two top-scoring submissions from each of the seven Geographic Regions (see list below), as well as remaining top-scoring videos from the Evaluation Panel judging review.

People from around the world will have a chance to vote for their favorite overall video in the contest, as well as their favorite video from their own region. The seven regions are North America (US/Canada); Central America/Mexico/Caribbean/South America; Europe; Asia (including China); India; Middle East/Africa; and Australia /New Zealand.

The video with the highest number of combined Likes, positive reactions (Love, Haha, Wow), and Shares will be declared top scorer in the 2018 Popular Vote Challenge. The top scorer will receive automatic placement into the final round, bypassing the next round of judging and entering the running for overall Challenge winner.

The video submissions will be reviewed by Breakthrough Prize laureates and other leaders in science, technology, and education. In addition to creating and producing their own video entries, competitors must also participate in the peer-to-peer scoring of fellow students’ submissions.

As in previous years, the 2018 Breakthrough Junior Challenge winner will be announced at the internationally broadcast Breakthrough Prize awards ceremony live from Silicon Valley, details of which will be announced at a later date.

The winner of last year’s Breakthrough Junior Challenge was Hillary Diane Andales from the Philippines. Her video, which focused on relativity and reference frames, can be viewed at

The 2017 installment of the global competition attracted more than 11,000 registrants – from 178 countries – and resulted in more than 3,200 video submissions.

The Breakthrough Junior Challenge is a global competition 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.

The Breakthrough Prize

The Breakthrough Prize was created to honor important advancements in the categories of Fundamental Physics, Life Sciences and Mathematics. The Breakthrough Prizes were founded by Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki, Yuri and Julia Milner, and Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan. The Breakthrough Prize aims to celebrate the best scientific work and inspire the next generation of scientists.

For more information on the Breakthrough Prizes:


Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the mission of providing a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. We use intelligent software, data analytics, and intuitive user interfaces to help students and teachers around the world. Our resources cover math, biology, chemistry, physics, history, economics, finance, grammar, preschool learning, and more. Khan Academy offers free personalized SAT prep in partnership with the College Board. We provide teachers with tools and data so they can help their students develop the skills, habits, and mindsets necessary for success in school and beyond. Khan Academy has been translated into dozens of languages, and 15 million people around the globe learn on Khan Academy each month. For more information, visit, join us on Facebook, or follow us on Instagram or Twitter. And remember, you can learn anything.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

The Breakthrough Prize Lab for the winning student’s school is designed by and in partnership with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL). Established in 1890, CSHL has shaped contemporary biomedical research and education. Its New York campus boasts 1100 faculty, students and employees and hosts over 12,000 visiting scientists each year for world-renowned conferences and courses. CSHL’s DNA Learning Center is the world’s largest provider of student lab instruction in molecular genetics and teacher training. Materials and methods developed by the DNA Learning Center are accessible for free through more than 20 award-winning educational websites. The Laboratory’s education arm also includes an academic publishing house, a science policy think tank and a graduate program in biological sciences. Visit

National Geographic Partners LLC

National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 129 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers and reaching millions of people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit or, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.


For more information, including competition rules, video submission guidelines and queries, go to:

For press inquiries only, please contact:
Janet Wootten, Direct: +1-212-843-8024
Kristen Bothwell, Direct: +1-212-843-9227