VERONA, NJ - As part of the Breakthrough Junior Challenge global science video contest, Chris Lakin, a Verona High School senior, among 30 semi-finalists selected from thousands of students from around the world who submitted engaging and creative videos to demonstrate difficult scientific concepts and theories in the physical or life sciences.

The winner of the Breakthrough Junior Challenge will be awarded a $250,000 college scholarship. The science teacher who inspired the winning student will win a $50,000 prize.  The winner’s school will also receive a state-of-the-art science lab valued at $100,000.  The contest is designed to inspire fresh, creative explanations of fundamental concepts in the life sciences, physics and mathematics.

The 30 semifinalists hail from all around the world, including the United States, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Korea, India, Iraq, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, the U.K. and Venezuela.  Since its launch, the Breakthrough Junior Challenge has reached 199 countries, and the 2019 installment of the global competition attracted more than 11,000 registrants.

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Chris’ physics teacher, Alexander Cali, encouraged him to enter the Breakthrough Jr. Challenge, and after narrowing down his nearly 40 ideas, his video stems from a TED talk he saw a few years ago on photosynthesis and how quantum mechanics plays into it.

Chris’s video can be seen here:

The finalists’ videos are already up on the Breakthrough Facebook page, and the general public can vote for a people’s choice winner between now and September 20.