Khan Academy’s Breakthrough Junior Challenge Offers $250,000 Scholarship

Are you interested in mathematics or sciences? How about using that interest of yours to win a $250,000 scholarship while also getting your teacher another $50,000?

That’s the whole premise behind Khan Academy’s Breakhrough Junior Challenge. A student can win the scholarship and the prize money for their teacher by participating in the Breakthrough Junior Challenge.

The Breakthrough Junior Challenge is an offshoot of the original Breakthrough Prize. As mentioned on the website,

The Breakthrough Prize was created to honor important advancements in the categories of Fundamental Physics, Life Sciences and Mathematics.

The Junior challenge however is limited to students aged 13-18 years.

Competition Details

The main purpose of this challenge is to explain complex scientific/mathematical ideas and theories in a simple and easy to understand way. For that, student-teacher duos are required to make a short video, no more than 5 minutes in length that explains your idea or theory.

Your idea/theory should be based on one of these 3 major fields:

  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Life Sciences

You can make the video in any way you want to.

Your film can take any form you like: animation, talking head, documentary, dramatic reconstruction, whatever. It’s worth keeping in mind that video is a dynamic visual medium – using diagrams, simulations, physical demonstrations etc. is a lot more effective than standing in front of a blackboard talking.

Judgement Criteria

The videos will be judged according to these criteria:

  • Engagement
  • Illumination
  • Creativity
  • Difficulty

You can use the winning entries from last year as a guide as to what scores better and what doesn’t.

How to Participate

To participate you will need to sign up at and fill out the forms after logging in. You cannot access the forms without logging in or signing up.

The winner will get a $250,000 scholarship at any college or university of their choice as well as an additional $50,000 prize for their teacher. The teacher will be eligible for the prize if they served as an inspiration for the student on making the video on a particular theory.

The last date for submissions is October 10th.

You can head over on to their website or more details regarding the judging process and FAQ.

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