Sixteen-year old Samay Godika, an city school student in India, is all set to receive $400,000 in educational prizes for himself, his teacher and his school, after he emerged as the winner in the fourth annual "Breakthrough Junior Challenge", a global science video competition.
The US-based Breakthrough Prize announced Mr Godika, a junior at the National Public School-Koramangala in Bengaluru, as the winner of this year's 'Breakthrough Junior Challenge' for his video submitted in the life sciences category on circadian rhythms, which are physical, mental, and behavioural changes that follow a daily cycle.
The Breakthrough Prize Junior Challenge is a global competition for students between 13 to 18 years of age that requires them to research, create and submit videos on current and complex topics in life sciences, physics, and mathematics.
"As the winner, Samay will receive $400,000 (approx Rs. 2.92 crore) in educational prizes for himself, his teacher and his school," Breakthrough Prize said in a release posted on its website Sunday.
Samay will receive a $250,000 college scholarship while his ninth and tenth grade science teacher Pramila Menon will get $50,000 prize. Ms Menon had encouraged his interest in life sciences and tutored him after school to encourage his curiosity about scientific ideas. Additionally, his school will receive a state-of-the-art science lab valued at $100,000.
Samay won the award competing with 13 other finalists among roughly 8,000 entries. His winning video was an explainer on the science of 'circadian rhythms', also called ‘the body clock’, It shows the details of how it affects the effectiveness of medical treatments.
“It feels amazing and unbelievable… participating in, and now winning the Breakthrough Junior Challenge is life-changing, thrilling and such an honour. I’m so grateful for this opportunity to be recognized,” Samay told the reporters.
Recognising him as a Boston native who now lives in India, Breakthrough said, Samay's video, submitted in the life sciences category, focused on circadian rhythms, the 24-hour biological processes that can affect simple daily experiences such as waking up for school or jet lag.