The Breakthrough Junior Challenge is a global competition that develops and showcases young people’s knowledge of science and scientific principles. The Challenge also sparks the imagination and interest of the public in these areas.
15 student finalists have made it to the final round of the 2023 Breakthrough Junior Challenge. Giving Pledge philanthropist and Eureka Manifesto author Yuri Milner launched the annual science competition in 2015. He is also the co-founder of the Breakthrough Prize and the Breakthrough Initiatives.
From Over 2,400 to the Top 5: Choosing the Best Videos
For the ninth year, the Breakthrough Junior Challenge invited students ages 13-18 to create short, original videos illustrating an idea from math, physics, or the life sciences. The competition assessed the videos based on the student’s ability to convey complex scientific ideas in the most imaginative, illuminating, and engaging ways.
Students submitted over 2,400 videos to this year’s Breakthrough Junior Challenge. After passing the Peer-to-Peer Review and Evaluation Panel Review judging rounds, 30 videos reached the Popular Vote.
The Popular Vote ran from September 5-20, 2023, on the Breakthrough Prize Facebook and YouTube pages. This stage of the competition invites members of the public to vote for the videos they like best. The 30 videos in this year’s Popular Vote round reached over half a million people.
The top-scoring video from the Popular Vote received automatic entry into the final round of judging. A Selection Committee of preeminent scientists will now review and score the other finalists. The Selection Committee will choose a maximum of five entries for final consideration and the selection of the ultimate prize winner.
Speaking of prizes, the Breakthrough Junior Challenge offers its winners three prizes worth $400,000. These prizes don’t just reward the winner; they also benefit the winner’s school and the teacher who inspired them.
The Breakthrough Junior Challenge’s Global Reach
The Breakthrough Junior Challenge welcomes submissions in English from teenagers all over the world. Since its launch in 2015, the competition has received 25,000 submissions from more than 200 countries. This year’s 15 finalists represent countries like Mexico, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Past winners of the competition have hailed from:
- The U.S.
- The Philippines.
The Breakthrough Junior Challenge also recognizes regional champions from the Popular Vote. One video each from Asia, Europe, India, New Zealand and Australia, North America, Central and South America, and the Middle East and Africa comes out on top in their geographic region.
Challenge Winners Explore Difficult Scientific Subjects
Each year, entrants cover an impressive range of challenging scientific subjects in their videos. Past Breakthrough Junior Challenge winners have tackled topics from disciplines like:
- Fundamental physics.
- Quantum mechanics.
- Astrophysics and particle physics.
This year’s participants have also explored various scientific and mathematical ideas. But only one can secure the title of 2023 Breakthrough Junior Challenge winner. Watch the 2023 Breakthrough Junior Challenge finalists’ videos.
About Yuri Milner’s Breakthrough Foundation
Yuri Milner’s Breakthrough Foundation is a charitable organization that funds mainly science-focused programs. The Breakthrough Foundation supports projects like the Breakthrough Junior Challenge, the Breakthrough Prize, the Breakthrough Initiatives, and Tech For Refugees.
The Breakthrough Initiatives have received several million dollars in funding from Yuri Milner’s Breakthrough Foundation. The $100 million Breakthrough Initiative called Listen has supercharged the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Meanwhile, Breakthrough Starshot is a $100 million program developing a new technology for uncrewed interstellar travel.
Aside from Yuri Milner’s Breakthrough Foundation, the Breakthrough Prize receives funding from its other co-founders, who include Sergey Brin and Mark Zuckerberg.