Samay Godika, a student of National Public School, Koramangala has emerged as the winner of Breakthrough Junior Challenge and bagged the Science Prize worth $400,000 (Rs 2.9 crore).
Scientists are busy at work finding cures for Alzheimers’ and Parkinson’s, and a Bangalore teenager is right at their heels with a breakthrough to fight the diseases.
A Class 11 student of National Public School, Koramangala, Samay Godika represented the country and his school at the Breakthrough Junior Challenge this year and brought back the ultimate, Rs 2.9 crore science prize. Samay won the award competing with 13 other finalists among roughly 8,000 entries.
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.
Samay, who was born in Boston, is a student in Class X at the National Public School. While students at his age find it difficult to manage exams and assignments, this teenager took inspiration from his own family to do something remarkable at such a young age.
In his video for the challenge, Samay explains this biological process through a clever combination of humorous animated storytelling and informative scientific explanations. ‘Autophagy’ is the science behind fasting and a topic that would resonate with many Indians as it supports the ancient tradition of fasting to stay healthy and live longer. On much same lines, researchers show that Autophagy, a self-cleaning mechanism, could help fight dreaded diseases like Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and may even help in Anti-Ageing. The Breakthrough Challenge looks for four main areas that the videos should cover: Engagement, Creativity, Illumination and Difficulty. Not an easy task for teenagers but Samay has managed to cover them all through his hard work.
Samay has also been selected by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for their Launch Entrepreneurship Programme 2017. This experience has led him to co-found Memorably, a company which creates photo-books of grandchildren for their grandparents.