Jeddah student among semifinalists in fifth annual Breakthrough Junior Challenge

Deram Tamir Altabbaa has qualified for the final stages of the Breakthrough Junior Challenge, a global science video contest. (Breakthrough Facebook)
Updated 12 September 2019

Jeddah student among semifinalists in fifth annual Breakthrough Junior Challenge

  • Deram Tamir Altabbaa found in biochemistry a world of endless opportunities and a key science that helps in developing the scientific and moral sides of humanity
  • 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

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:

https://www.facebook.com/BreakthroughPrize/videos/739377439843060/
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.”


Organizers promise ‘exceptional’ Saudi National Day celebrations

Updated 16 September 2019

Organizers promise ‘exceptional’ Saudi National Day celebrations

  • We are keen to have the largest international events to create an exceptional season, says GEA CEO Amr Banaja

RIYADH: Fireworks, concerts, festivals and international performances will be among the highlights of the 89th Saudi National Day celebrations this year.

The General Entertainment Authority (GEA) has announced a season of record-breaking events for the annual celebration.

At a press conference in Riyadh on Sunday, GEA CEO Amr Banaja said that Saudi citizens and residents can enjoy a number of entertainment activities planned across 13 regions of the Kingdom as part of the National Day season being supervised by the GEA from Sept. 19 to 23.

“The GEA is proud to oversee the Saudi National Day Season activities by launching a unified identity that brings together the society under “Himma Hatta El-Qimmah,” Banaja said, inspired by the words of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman: “The Saudis’ strength is like that of the Tuwaiq mountain.”

The GEA was proud to be overseeing the occasion, Banaja said. “We are keen to have the largest international events to create an exceptional season befitting this dear country,” he said.

“This year fireworks celebrations will continue for several days where more than 700,000 shots will be fired at an altitude of up to 300 meters, accompanied by music,” he said.

Celebrations will be held in all regions during the season, and visitors will be able to enjoy a range of activities that reflected the unity of the nation and the cohesion of the people and leadership.

“Distinctive international shows designed especially for the National Day will be held in Riyadh from Sept. 21-23,” he said.

Fireworks will light up Jeddah over Al-Hamra Corniche accompanied by sound and light effects and laser shows.

At the five-day Dhahran Exhibition in Dammam starting on Sept. 19, the world’s largest theatrical producer “Cirque du Soleil” will present a specially designed show for Saudi National Day.

Forty artists will present 14 shows of acrobatics, sports, music, and dance. Eight concerts will also be held in a number of regions where, besides international stars, Saudi and Gulf artists will present patriotic songs.

The concerts will begin on the first day of the season on Sept. 19 at Al-Jouf University Stadium in Sakaka with performances by Khaled Abdulrahman and Nabil Shuail.

The next day, a concert will be held at King Khalid Sport City in Tabuk staged by artists Abdullah Al-Rowaished and Aseel Abu Bakr.

On Sept. 21, Majid Al-Mohandes and Dalia Mubarak will perform at Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Musaed Stadium in Hail.

On Sept. 22, two concerts will be performed at King Abdullah Sports City in Buraidah by artists Rashid Al-Majid and Balqees Fathi; the second at Prince Sultan Cultural Center in Jazan by “The Artist of Arabs” Mohammed Abdo and Turki.

On Saudi National Day (Sept. 23), three concerts will be held in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam.

Thousands will gather at King Fahd Cultural Center in Riyadh to listen to singers Hussein Al-Jasmi and Abadi Al-Jawhar.

In Jeddah, Rabeh Saqr and the artist Waad will perform at King Abdullah Sports City, while in Dammam, and in the Green Halls in Riyadh, Kuwaiti singer Nawal and the artist Ayed will entertain the audience.

Five forums will take place in five cities, where a number of speakers will present inspirational events.

Forums will be held in Madinah and Tabuk on Sept. 19, while in Abha and Buraidah the forum will be held on Sept. 21 and in Hail on Sept. 23.

Banaja said that the GEA had created 150 smartphone apps for the National Day celebrations with 40,000 downloaded so far.

He thanked the security authorities for their efforts to make the season a success, and all government, private and nonprofit sectors for their contribution.

The programs were mostly free, he said, though there were some concerts for which tickets could be purchased online.

There will also be a major aero show in Riyadh, Jeddah and the Eastern Province, and a Saudi falcon show will be organized in Riyadh, Jeddah and Alkhobar.