JEDDAH: Local student Deram Tamir Altabbaa is among 30 international semifinalists out of an original 11,000 entrants who is currently competing for $400,000 in prizes as part of the Breakthrough Junior Challenge, a global science video contest.
Students worldwide were tasked to submit engaging, imaginative (and sometimes humorous) videos to demonstrate difficult scientific concepts and theories in the physical or life sciences. Think: Steven Spielberg meets Albert Einstein.
The grand prize winner will appear alongside world renowned scientists on stage at the Breakthrough Awards ceremony in Palo Alto, California, on Nov. 3.
The finalists’ videos are already up on Facebook, and the general public can vote for a people’s choice winner between now and September 20th.
View Deram Tamir Altabbaa’s video here:
Deram lives in Jeddah and is currently being homeschooled by his mother who he credits with teaching him everything he knows today, including his topic on Biochemical Regulations, the world of enzyme cascades and its negative feedback. Through his extensive research in biochemistry, he found that it is a world of endless opportunities and is a key science that helps in developing the scientific and moral sides of humanity.
Since its launch, the Breakthrough Junior Challenge has reached 199 countries, and the 2019 installment of the global competition attracted more than 11,000 registrants. The contest is designed to inspire fresh, creative explanations of fundamental concepts in the life sciences, physics and mathematics.
The Breakthrough Prize Foundation kicked off the ‘Popular Vote’ phase by posting all videos online on the Breakthrough Facebook page where people from around the world will have a chance to vote for their favorite video in the contest.
All 30 semifinalists will compete in the ‘Popular Vote’ contest, open until Friday, September 20 at 11:59 PM PT. The ‘Popular Vote’ invites the public to vote for their favorite semifinalist submission on the Breakthrough Facebook page. The video with the highest number of combined likes, positive reactions (e.g. “love”, “haha”, “wow”), and shares will be declared top scorer in the 2019 Popular Vote. The top scorer will progress automatically to the final round, bypassing the next round of judging and entering the running for overall Challenge winner.
In addition to creating and producing their own video entries, Challengers must also participate in a round of peer-to-peer assessment, in which they score some of their fellow competitors’ submissions.
On Saturday, September 21, the 15 finalists and the top scorer in the ‘Popular Vote’ will be revealed. The Popular Vote Top Scorer will receive automatic entry into the finalist round. Additionally, each of the seven geographic regions will have a top-scorer who will be named a Regional Champion.
The winner of the Breakthrough Junior Challenge will be announced at the internationally broadcast 2020 Breakthrough Prize ceremony live from Silicon Valley on November 3. The winner of the Breakthrough Junior Challenge will be awarded a $250,000 college scholarship. The science teacher who inspired the winning student will win a $50,000 prize. The winner’s school will also receive a state-of-the-art science lab valued at $100,000.
“The Breakthrough Junior Challenge highlights some of the most promising young scientists in the world,” said Sal Khan, founder and CEO of Khan Academy. “The videos from the semifinalists will help students all over the globe learn about science. Peer-to-peer education helps reinforce classroom learning and helps level the playing field for students everywhere.”