16-year-old Pledges Half ‘Breakthrough Junior Challenge’ Winnings to Kerala Relief Fund if her Video on 4-Dimensional Space Time and Gravity Wins Challenge
After being judged the ‘National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement 2017’, 16-year-old Bengaluru resident, Nikhiya Shamsher, has her eyes set on the prestigious ‘Breakthrough Junior Challenge’, an annual global competition for students – aged 13 to 18 – to inspire creative thinking about science.
Nikhiya aims to win this challenge, but to win a crucial round she has to get more than 50,000 likes and shares on her video. She needs likes and shares from viewers to help her reach the finals.
Winning the Popular Vote will bring Nikhiya very close to winning the challenge plus a scholarship of $250,000. She has pledged to donate 50% of an equivalent amount (about INR 90 lakh) to the Kerala Flood Relief fund and the rest 50% for the education of the less privileged children in Bangalore. She will be the first Indian to win this competition.
Breakthrough Junior Challenge is a platform for budding scientists, physicists or mathematicians to explain a complex scientific idea with a short video of 3 minutes. Nikhiya’s video on 4-Dimensional Space Time and Gravity has already received great reviews and admiration. She has qualified in the top 30 semi-finalists, surpassing approximately 5,000 entries received from across the world.
Through her 3 minute video, Nikhiya, a science enthusiast and a physics geek, has simplified Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, especially the warping of spacetime and gravity. Most sources show ball-on-a-trampoline analogy to explain how gravity works and yet somehow she never found the explanation good enough. This inspired her to build a device that she calls the ‘Spacetime Grid’. Three months and umpteen trials of size, shape, materials, motors and a bit of carpentry work went into this and the result can be seen in her video.
Nikhiya’s passion is not new. At such a young age, Nikhiya has already made so much difference in the lives of many. Her fascination with science and her love for social causes has already won many hearts and appreciation.
At the age of 13, she started an NGO and has since then set up 106 ‘Yearn to Learn’ laboratories of Science and Math in schools and colleges that don’t have them. The Yearn to Learn labs have created a phenomenal impact with students turning innovators and championing Olympiads and Science Competitions. Apart from the labs, in the last three years about 10,500 students have received school supplies like bags, books and study materials through her activity ‘Bags, Books and Blessings’. For her social activities, Nikhiya is the recipient of some of the most prestigious awards like the ‘National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement 2017’, awarded by the honourable President of India; The Diana Legacy Award, presented by the Duke of Cambridge Prince William and Prince Harry; Gold Medalist at the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, USA; and the Outstanding Youth Economic Citizenship Award 2017, presented by the German G20 Presidency.
In Nikhiya’s own words: “The world’s population is 7 billion and some people see that as a burden. But I see it as a huge opportunity. Even if we can get 10% more students in technological fields, we can solve a lot of problems that plague us today – climate change, scarce resources and conflicts. It is simply a statistical advantage.”
To vote for Nikhiya’s video, visit the link: https://www.facebook.com/BreakthroughPrize/videos/2220774517964312/ and Like and Share her video.
Likes, shares and positive reactions on the original post will be counted as votes.
Voting is open from 7th to 20th September 2018.