MANILA, Philippines – An 18-year-old Filipino won in this year's Breakthrough Junior Challenge, an annual global science video competition.
Hillary Andales, a student of Philippine Science High School-Eastern Visayas Campus, will receive $250,000 in educational prizes, while her teacher will get $50,000 and her school, a new laboratory worth $100,000.
Her entry was a 3-minute video explaining the concept of equivalence of reference frames, part of general relativity.
In her acknowledgement speech, Andales urged the Filipino youth to delve into the study of science and technology.
"May this inspire more young people, especially my dear Filipinos, to look up and become scientists themselves – the stars that we should all look up to," Andales said.
She bested more than 11,000 students, coming from 178 countries, in this year's competition. The organizers said a total of 3,200 videos were submitted this year.
“Truly you have imbibed in you the vision of the school, a passion for excellence, pursuit of truth, and service to the nation," PSHS - Easter Visayas Campus Director Reynaldo Garcia said in his speech for Andales.
CREATIVE EXPLAINER. A framegrab from Andales' winning video on reference frames and relativity. Courtesy Breakthrough Junior Challenge/YouTube
Andales' entry made it to the finals after she won in the online "Popular Vote" contest. She was among 15 finalists, representing 6 countries.
Her win was announced during the Breakthrough Prizes ceremony at the NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley on Sunday, December 3 (Monday, December 4 in Manila).
The Breakthrough Junior Challenge, now on its 3rd year, is an "annual global competition for students to inspire creative thinking about science," according to the organizers.
Students are invited to create original videos that explain a scientific concept, and are judged on how the complex concept or idea is communicated.
It is organized by the Breakthrough Prize Foundation, which is an annual award that "aims to celebrate the best scientific work and inspire the next generation of scientists."
Among the Breakthrough Prizes' founders are Google co-founder Sergey Brin, and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan. – with reports from Raisa Serafica/Rappler.com