Bengaluru student to get $400,000 prize for self, teacher, school


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Sixteen-year old Samay Godika, a city school student, will receive USD 400,000 in educational prizes for himself, his teacher and his school, as he emerged winner in the fourth annual "Breakthrough Junior Challenge", a global science video competition. The US-based Breakthrough Prize announced Godika, a junior at the National Public School-Koramangala here, as the winner of this year's 'Breakthrough Junior Challenge' for his video submitted in the lifesciences category on circadian rhythms, which are physical, mental, and behavioural changes that follow a daily cycle.

Breakthrough Junior Challenge is a global science video competition designed to inspire creative thinking about fundamental concepts in the life sciences, physics, and mathematics. "As the winner, Samay will receive USD 400,000 (approx Rs 2.92 crore) ineducational prizes for himself, his teacher and his school," Breakthrough Prize said in a release posted on its website Sunday.

Samay will receive a USD 250,000 collegescholarship while his ninth and tenth grade science teacher Pramila Menon will get USD 50,000 prize. Additionally,his school will receive a state-of-the-art science lab valuedat USD 100,000. Menon had encouraged his interest in life sciencesand tutored him after school to encourage his curiosity about scientific ideas.

Recognising him as a Boston native who now lives in India, Breakthrough said, Samay's video, submitted in the lifesciences category, focused on circadian rhythms, the 24-hour biological processes that can affect simple daily experiencessuch as waking up for school or jet lag. Because he has family members who suffer from Parkinson's and other neurological diseases, Samay is particularly interested in the correlation between circadian rhythms and the effectiveness of medical treatments, it added.

"Participating in and now winning the BreakthroughJunior Challenge is life-changing, thrilling and such an honor...I'm so grateful for this opportunity to be recognised alongside so many of the world's top scientists and tech industry leaders," Samay said.

Breakthrough Junior Challenge is a global initiative to develop and demonstrate young people's knowledge of science and scientific principles, generate excitement in these fields and engage the imagination and interest of the public-at-large in key concepts of fundamental science, it said.

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