A student from the Philippine Science Eastern Visayas Campus won the Breakthrough Junior Challenge – considered the Oscars of Science – bringing home millions worth of educational prizes for herself and her school.
Hillary Diane Andales was awarded in early December at the NASA Ames with $400,000 in educational prizes, a scholarship worth up to $250,000, another $50,000 for the science teacher who inspired her, and a state-of-the-art science lab for her school valued at $100,000 designed by and in partnership with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
The 18-year-old senior high school student submitted her winning video to the Breakthrough Junior Challenge physics category, focused on reference frames in general relativity.
Andales in a Facebook post said she spent about a year making the 3-minute video about Relativity and Reference Frames.
The Leyte resident posted about her love for science and how she intends to dream bigger after winning the Breakthrough Junior Challenge.
“Now that I have been given this platform to speak to many more people, I want to encourage other young people to be ambitious and dream big. The world needs more dreamers!
Other than that, I want to tell everyone (and I mean everyone) that science is interesting and worthwhile. I want (no, need) everyone to appreciate it! Science is beyond the equations and the intimidating terms; science is the way we understand the Universe. Everything around you can be explained by science: how plants make food, how the Sun keeps burning, how your eyes are reading this, and the list goes on indefinitely. Science has also given us the wealth of digital technology which is ironically used to denounce its value.”
The Breakthrough media release revealed this was Andales’ second time in the competition, and last year, she was the Top Scorer in the Popular Vote, a segment of the contest that allows the public to vote for their favorites online. As the Top Scorer in the Popular Vote, she won a DNA molecular biology laboratory as her school recovered from damage by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. This year, her overall victory in the competition will secure for her school a Fabrication/Physics/Design/Innovation Lab.
The Filipino student competed among more than 11,000 entries from 178 countries received in the 2017 installment of the global competition, which kicked off on September 1, 2017.
The Breakthrough Junior Challenge, a global science video competition designed to inspire creative thinking about fundamental concepts in the life sciences, physics, and mathematics, is funded by Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, and Yuri and Julia Milner, through the Breakthrough Prize Foundation, based on a grant from Mark Zuckerberg’s fund at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation a grant from the Milner Global Foundation.