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Sixth annual Breakthrough Junior Challenge winner

photo of Maryam Tsegaye 2020 junior breakthrough challenge winner
2020 Breakthrough Junior Challenge winner Maryam Tsegaye is passionate about the capacity of science, and how it can unlock the mysteries of the universe. Image: Courtesy Maryam Tsegaye

The Breakthrough Prize Foundation announced Maryam Tsegaye, 17, of Fort McMurray, Canada, as the winner of the sixth annual Breakthrough Junior Challenge, a global science video competition designed to inspire creative thinking about concepts in the life sciences, physics, and mathematics.

The Foundation partnered with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL), Khan Academy, and National Geographic Partners, LLC this year to award the winner a total of $400,000 in educational prizes. Tsegaye, currently a student at École McTavish Public High School, will receive a $250,000 college scholarship. Her teacher, Katherine Vladicka-Davies, who encouraged Tsegaye’s participation in the Challenge, will win a $50,000 prize. Finally, École McTavish Public High will receive a state-of-the-art science lab designed by CSHL’s DNA Learning Center, valued at $100,000.

In her video, Tsegaye explains how quantum tunneling makes many aspects of our world possible. “Winning the Breakthrough Junior Challenge is a life-changing moment for me,” Tsegaye said. “I am so humbled to be a part of the Breakthrough Junior Challenge community, and to win this for my school, my teachers, my family, the city, and the country.”

Written by: Jasmine Lee, Content Developer/Communicator | jaslee@cshl.edu

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