Breakthrough Junior Challenge overview and past winners


A structured competition can be a useful tool to motivate young children. This is exactly what the Breakthrough Junior Challenge achieves, which is an initiative of Yuri Milner. The idea behind this content is to enhance the learning abilities of students and promote their interest in science. Yuri Milner, a renowned investor and philanthropist, believes that contests are an excellent way to inspire young people with scientific ideas and spread them around the world.

The Breakthrough Junior Challenge Overview

The Breakthrough Junior Challenge is a science video competition held every year. This competition is accessible to students between the ages of 13 and 18 from all around the globe. The main idea of the challenge is to encourage students to create and present informative videos explaining a scientific concept directly related to science, including topics from physics and biology.

The competition provides each participant a maximum of 90 seconds to present their video. Participants in this challenge must convey complicated scientific concerns in a concise, relevant, and interesting manner within a limited timeframe. Yuri Milner found the inspiration for this idea from his childhood passion for science and innovation, and the Breakthrough Junior Challenge was founded in 2015.

The Breakthrough Junior Challenge supports science and the sharing of scientific findings while focusing on the development of young minds. The Breakthrough Prize Foundation developed this competition to promote and celebrate innovative achievements in mathematics, biology, physics, and life sciences. Yuri Milner and his wife, Julia Milner, established the Breakthrough Prize Foundation as part of their Giving Pledge commitment. There are several other sponsors of this program, including Mark Zuckerberg, Anne Wojcicki, Sergey Brin, and Priscilla Chan.

The Breakthrough Junior Challenge Reward System

This initiative continues to play an important role in inspiring today’s youth to study, analyze, and innovate. One of the goals of the Breakthrough Junior Challenge is to increase the exposure of young minds to science, to understand scientific concepts, and to exchange scientific ideas. This challenge also provides attractive prizes for the winners. The person who wins will get a $250,000 post-secondary education award. A $50,000 prize will also be awarded to the winner’s instructor, who has supported and encouraged the participant. The competition prize model also helps support the winner’s institution: their school will receive a $100,000 Breakthrough Science Lab grant for expansion or improvements to their science facilities.

The Breakthrough Junior Challenge Past Winners

The Breakthrough Junior Challenge has been running successfully for the last seven years and gaining popularity. All of the winners have received recognition for their excellent work. Amber Kwok of Mauritius won the Breakthrough Junior Challenge in 2021, and Gornekk Suwattanapong of Thailand was named Space Exploration Champion. Maryam Tsegaye of Canada won the 2020 Breakthrough Junior Challenge, while Jeffery Chen of the United States won the 2019 Breakthrough Junior Challenge.

In 2018, Samay Godika of India won, while Hillary Andales of the Philippines won in 2017. In the year 2016, there were two winners as the 2016 Breakthrough Junior Challenge was won by Deanna See of Singapore and Antonella Masini of Peru. Ryan Chester of the United States was the 2015 winner. The Breakthrough Challenge is only seven years old and has already achieved international recognition. It is on the path to getting bigger and better with each coming year.