In the prestigious annual Breakthrough Junior Challenge, a global science competition for teenagers sees three Indian students who have made their place to the finale. The three students from India selected among the 15 finalists. Around 12000 registration from around the world submitted their videos to demonstrate difficult scientific concepts and theories in the physical or life sciences.
Samay Godika, 16, and Nikhiya Shamsher, 16, from Bengaluru, and Kavya Negi, 18, from Delhi are the three who are in the finale. On November 4 in Silicon Valley, the winner will be announced and get a $250,000 college scholarship. The science teacher who is behind the student in inspiring them will get $50,000.
Nikhiya who scored more than 25,000 likes and became the top scorer made a video on space time and gravity. She considers herself as an inventor and an innovator. The girl said, "I conducted my study at IISC, Bengaluru and my diagnostic test has an accuracy of 96 per cent. It's a simple product that a person can use at home and one test costs less than 50 cents."
Talking about her project, she said, "I would love to pursue theoretical physics, simply because it reveals many secrets of the universe. And of course, an important component of theoretical physics is math. I believe math is the language by which the universe speaks to itself."
The second student Kavya is from Delhi and her video is about Hawking Radiation which is a very feeble emission of particles near the event horizon of a black hole caused when virtual particles. The girl stated, "I have been able to explain not just Hawking Radiation but also black hole explosion in three minutes."
She added that "My vision is to see a scientific utopia which starts with scientific communication."
The third one is Samay, an 11th class student. He said, "I first heard about Circadian Rhythm when it was in the news as the 2017 Nobel Prize-winning topic in Medicine. I zeroed in on this topic as it seemed to impact many facets of daily lives, including things like my asthma, the difficulty I face getting up early in the morning, etc."
He further said, "Our brain seems to be the most complex system in this world and the least understood. I am interested in building a solid foundation in this area. In parallel, I would also like to pursue a programme that allows me to formally learn Data Sciences."
"This skill will equip me to model complex problems. A combination of neuroscience and data science skills could enable me to devise solutions for some of the most debilitating diseases faced by mankind," Samay said in last.
The challenge involved participants from 190 countries and received more than 12,000 registrants.
The Selection Committee comprises Salman Khan, CEO, Founder, Khan Academy; author and educator Lucy Hawking; Mae Jemison, science literacy expert, former astronaut, and Principal, 100 Year Starship; retired NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly; Nima Arkani-Hamed, Professor of Physics, Institute for Advanced Study and Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics Laureate; and Rachel Crane, Space and Science Correspondent, CNN.