Imagine someone offered you a $250,000 scholarship for a video you made in biology class on osmosis.
That’s the basic premise of the Breakthrough Junior Challenge, a competition for students aged 13 to 18 around the world. Students must make a video, up to 3 minutes in length, explaining a concept in math, physics or life sciences.
“The Breakthrough Junior Challenge gives young people a chance to share their knowledge of math and science in a fun and creative way,” said Priscilla Chan, co-founder of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, in a statement Thursday. The challenge is funded in part of by the Initiative, which Chan started with husband Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook.
“Every student involved helps us build a movement towards a better future for science,” she added.
The challenge comes as another push to get kids interested in science, technology, engineering, and math, also known as STEM fields. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest numbers show there are more than 8 million STEM jobs in the U.S. and pay for STEM jobs is about double the national average.
Video submissions will be judged on how well they tackle complicated ideas. There will also be a popular vote on the Breakthrough Facebook page, which could earn one video a spot in the finalist round.
So, what’s on the line for coming up with the most enlightening explanation of kinetic energy? Well, there’s that $250,000 scholarship. In addition, the winning student’s teacher gets $50,000 and their school gets a $100,000 science lab. Plus, the winner gets to attend the Breakthrough Prize ceremony, which Nat Geo host Jason Silva promises in a promo video will be a co-mingling of Hollywood and Silicon Valley.
The deadline to submit online is Oct. 1, 2017. More than 6,000 students from 146 countries entered videos in 2016. There was a tie between two videos covering quantum entanglement and superbugs.