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17-YO Student Wins Rs 3.32 Crore Breakthrough Prize by Tech Tycoons; Watch The Winning Video Here

Bengaluru's Sia Godika won the $400,000 Breakthrough Junior Challenge prize organised by tech giants like Google and Facebook for her video on reversing cellular ageing. Watch it here.

17-YO Student Wins Rs 3.32 Crore Breakthrough Prize by Tech Tycoons; Watch The Winning Video Here

Featured image courtesy: Breakthrough

Sia Godika, a 17-year-old girl from Bengaluru, won the Junior Challenge 2023 International Science Video Competition, a part of the Breakthrough Prizes.

The competition is organised by various tech giants like Google co-founder Sergey Brin, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, Israeli tech giant Yuri Milner and his wife Julia, and American entrepreneur Anne Wojcicki.

Sia beat other participants to win the prize of around Rs 3,32,00,000 in the competition with her award-winning video entry.

Her submission delved into the life and groundbreaking discoveries of Nobel Laureate Shinya Yamanaka on cellular reprogramming. Titled ‘Yamanaka Factors’, the video focuses on explaining and demonstrating the scientist’s work on the pluripotent stem cell technology that can reportedly “turn back time” on cells.

Yamanaka’s research has had a profound impact on the treatment of age-related and degenerative diseases.

This competition, often deemed as the ‘Oscars of science’, was created with the aim to inspire creative thinking about fundamental concepts in life sciences, physics and mathematics.

The Breakthrough Prize Foundation said that the winning prize amount would be broken up among Sia, her science teacher Arka Maulik, and the school Neev Academy — Sia will receive a college scholarship of Rs 2.7 crore, Maulik will receive a share of Rs 41 lakh from the prize, and her school will get a lab designed by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory worth Rs 83 lakh.

Interestingly, six years ago, Sia’s brother Samay won the same prize as well.

Speaking to the TOI, Sia said that “this was a creative and analytical journey”, where she could exercise various skills from writing the script to finally directing and producing the video.

She will be given the prize alongside the 2024 Breakthrough Prize laureates at a ceremony in Los Angeles this spring.

Watch Sia’s award-winning video here:

YouTube player

Here’s Sia receiving the coveted award:

YouTube player

Edited by Pranita Bhat

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