The Breakthrough Prize Junior Challenge is an international math/science video competition founded by technology leaders including Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Sergey Brin (Google), and Sal Khan (Khan Academy) to inspire creative thinking about science.
For the project, Aaron created a video explaining how the Fourier Transform — a discovery 200 years ago by Baron Jean-Baptiste Joseph Fourier, a French mathematician and physicist — provides the foundation for online video, audio, and photo sharing as we know it today. Out of thousands of entries globally, Aaron was named one of 30 semifinalists and is the youngest of the 12 Americans who qualified for the semis.
“I have a passion for filmmaking, and have always loved science,” say Aaron. “Since I enjoy the process of making videos, educational or not, I figured I’d take a shot at the Breakthrough Challenge.
“I really appreciate everyone’s support in this undertaking. No matter how slim you think your chances are, you should always try for things. I never thought I’d even have a chance of reaching the semifinals of this contest, but here I am! I think that’s a testament to the fact that you should just try your best at everything and you might get farther than you expect.”
The semifinals include a round of Facebook voting, and the vote tally is a key part of making the finals as the video with the most combined likes, shares, and positive reactions will progress to the final. The winner will earn a college scholarship. And, should Aaron, take the prize, Menlo School would also benefit as the winner’s school will receive $100,000 to invest in its science lab plus a cash prize for a teacher of the winner’s choice.
Voting is open now through Wednesday, November 9.