Tenth Annual Breakthrough Junior Challenge Opens Today for Student Submissions

2024 Breakthrough Junior Challenge Welcomes Original Science Videos in Life Sciences, Fundamental Physics, and Mathematics.

Contest Open to All Students Ages 13-18; Submissions Accepted Today Through June 25.

SAN FRANCISCO – APRIL 1, 2024 – The Breakthrough Prize Foundation today announced the launch of its popular, global video competition for students – the Breakthrough Junior Challenge – now in its tenth year.

To participate in the Challenge, students ages 13 to 18 are invited to create and submit an original short video (up to two-minutes) that explains a scientific concept or theory in an engaging and imaginative manner. Submissions will be accepted today through Tuesday, June 25.

The contest will award a total of $400,000 for the winning entry, including $250,000 in educational prizes for the student winner, $50,000 for their inspirational teacher, and a state-of-the art science laboratory designed by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and valued at $100,000.

Since its launch in 2015, the Breakthrough Junior Challenge has received more than 25,000 submissions from more than 200 countries. The Challenge is designed to inspire creative thinking and communications skills about important concepts in the life sciences, fundamental physics, and mathematics among young people. Conducted annually, the contest encourages students to create and submit an original, two-minute video in English that creatively explains a personally favorite or topical scientific theory or concept. The launch video with previous winners Maryam Tsegaye, Amber Kwok, and Noor Haideri can be viewed here.

“It’s been wonderful to see how the #BreakthroughJuniorChallenge has grown in the last ten years,” said Breakthrough Prize co-founder, Julia Milner. “Young people from over 200 countries have taken part and tens of millions watched their science videos on YouTube. Looking forward to even more teenagers from around the world participating this year.”

“Each year, we receive thousands of submissions from young people across the world who imaginatively use short videos to teach other students about often difficult science concepts,” said Sal Khan, Founder and CEO of Khan Academy and partner with the Breakthrough Prize Foundation. “Some of the videos go viral with their peers as they share the students’ creative use of animation, backyard props, and fun acoustics to teach fundamental concepts.”

As in years past, the Breakthrough Junior Challenge will hold an opportunity for the public to vote on their favorite videos as part of a “Popular Vote” that will run September 5 until September 20.

During the Popular Vote period, up to 30 “finalist” videos – grouped by geographic region – will be posted online on the Breakthrough Junior Challenge website, its Facebook page and YouTube channel. The seven geographic categories are North America (U.S. / Canada); Central America / Mexico / Caribbean / South America; Europe; Asia (including China); India; Middle East / Africa; and Australia / New Zealand. The video that accrues the total highest number of likes and positive reactions (e.g. “love”, “haha”, “wow”) on the Breakthrough Prize Facebook page plus the total of numbers on their video on the Breakthrough YouTube channel will be declared the Popular Vote top-scorer. The Popular Vote top-scorer will automatically bypass the Selection Committee Review and be placed in the final round of judging.

Competitors will also participate in a round of peer-to-peer assessments in which they will score some of fellow Challengers’ submissions. An Evaluation Panel and Selection Committee judging review will follow in the process of selecting the overall Breakthrough Junior Challenge winner.

The Breakthrough Junior Challenge will be open for submissions beginning on April 1 through June 25, 2024. Students ages 13 to 18 of any nationality are invited to participate by producing and directing an original science video. Submissions may not be longer than two minutes in length and illustrate a concept or theory of a student’s own selection. Submissions will be judged on the individual student’s ability to communicate complex scientific ideas in an engaging, fun and imaginative way.

About Breakthrough Junior Challenge

Founded by Julia and Yuri Milner, the Breakthrough Junior Challenge is a global science video competition, aiming to develop and demonstrate young people’s knowledge of science and scientific principles and communications skills; 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. Each winner receives $250,000 in educational prizes, a $50,000 prize for their science teacher, and a new science lab valued at $100,000 for their school. Information on the Breakthrough Junior Challenge is available at breakthroughjuniorchallenge.org.

About Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the mission of providing a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. Khan Academy is piloting an AI guide called Khanmigo that is a tutor and teaching assistant. Khanmigo is designed for the classroom and integrated into Khan Academy’s award-winning platform of more than 70,000 practice problems, videos and articles. School districts across the country use Khan Academy’s district offerings – Khan Academy Districts, MAP Accelerator and Khan Academy Kids – to support teachers and students. Worldwide, more than 160 million registered learners have used Khan Academy in 190 countries and more than 50 languages. For more information, please see research findings about Khan Academy and our press center.

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 www.cshl.edu.