Yuri Milner, a science philanthropist, and technology investor sponsor the Breakthrough Junior Challenge along with his wife Julia. His love of science began at an early age, and he hopes that challenge participants develop the same passion for it that he has had for most of his life.
Growing up the son of an economics professor and a virologist, Yuri felt curious and energized by his parents’ conversations with other scientists. His work as a scientific philanthropist has allowed him to inspire a whole new generation of thinkers and doers. Yuri Milner and his wife created the challenge for teens after joining the Giving Pledge launched by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet.
What Is the Breakthrough Junior Challenge, and Who Can Participate?
Students from around the world between the ages of 13 and 18 may develop and submit original videos not more than 90 seconds in length. Each video should highlight a theory or concept in mathematics, physics, or the life sciences to make it more engaging for the average viewer. A panel of judges considers how well each student communicates complex information in a manner that is imaginative, illuminating, and engaging.
Official Rules of the Breakthrough Junior Challenge
The competition period for the challenge runs from April 1 to June 25, 2022, ending at 11:59 p.m. on that date. Participants must be at least 13 years old as of April 1, 2022, and cannot turn 19 years old before October 1, 2022. Contestants under 18 years old need permission from a parent or guardian to participate.
By entering a video into the competition, participants agree that the work is their own. Participating in the contest automatically grants rights to the Breakthrough Junior Challenge to use the video at their discretion. Participants should not expect their entry to remain confidential, nor will they receive any compensation for their entry.
What Are the Prizes?
The student who submits the winning video will receive a $250,000 scholarship, a $100,000 breakthrough science lab for their school, and $50,000 awarded to their science or mathematics teacher.
How To Enter a Video in the Breakthrough Junior Challenge
Students whose age falls into the guidelines above may enter a video in English by navigating to the website https://www.breakthroughjuniorchallenge.org. The website will walk participants through how to complete the required forms and submit their videos. Students in all countries homeschooled students, and those with physical or cognitive disabilities are all welcome to enter a video in the challenge.
2021 Challenge Winners
Amber Kwok hails from Mauritius and was 18 years old when she submitted a video to the challenge last year. Kwok’s video was on the topic of physics. Gornick Suwattanapong, a 17-year-old from Thailand, won a special 2021 category for videos on Space Exploration. The judges also named 15 finalists who submitted short videos on a range of science and math topics.
About Yuri Milner
Yuri Miller began his career as a theoretical physicist, before going to Wharton School of Business in Pennsylvania and then moving into technology investment. He joined the Giving Pledge in 2012 and created the Breakthrough Prize that same year, and in 2015 launched the Breakthrough Junior Challenge 2015 to inspire high school students to think creatively about important scientific topics.