By: Romelie Janelle Maranan, S&T Media Service, DOST-STII


Grade 12 student Hillary Diane Andales from the Philippine Science High School- Eastern Visayas Campus in Palo, Leyte bagged the grand prize of the 3rd Breakthrough Junior Challenge last December 3, 2017 (December 4 in Manila) at the NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California, USA.

In her winning entry, Andales explained about the concept of relativity and the equivalence of reference frame. (The video entry can be accessed through this link: BreakthroughPrize/videos/ 1907249605967053/ )

After being a finalist for two consecutive years, Andales bested more than 10,000 students from 178 countries around the world.

As the grand prize winner, the 18-year-old Palo, Leyte resident received a $250,000 (₱12,670,000) college scholarship, as well as a $50,000 (₱2,530,000) prize for her science teacher, and a $100,000 (₱5,069,000) new science laboratory from the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

For her first entry last year about the “Feynman’s Path Integrals”, Andales emerged as the special awardee of the Breakthrough Junior Challenge Popular Vote that brought her straight to the finals and won her school a $100,000 state-of-the-art DNA molecular-biology laboratory. (The video can be viewed in this link: BreakthroughPrize/videos/ 1406243266067692/)

Andales, on the other hand, expressed her gratitude to the award-giving body as it has allowed her to become a rising star with even bigger dreams.

“May this inspire more young people, especially my dear Filipinos, to look up and become scientists themselves- the stars we should all look up to,” Andales said.

Just recently, she was awarded the “Mga Bagong Rizal: Pag-Asa ng Bayan” for her strong advocacy for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math education and awareness. Mga Bagong Rizal: Pag-Asa ng Bayan is a biennial search for young Filipinos who demonstrate extraordinary abilities and gifts in various fields while exemplifying love for country, reflective of the national hero Dr. Jose Rizal’s virtues.

Organized by the Breakthrough Prize Organization, Breakthrough Junior Challenge, considered the “Oscars” in the world of science, is an annual global competition for students ages 13 to 18 from countries across the globe to inspire creative thinking about science. The students are invited to create and submit a three-minute original video that brings to life a concept or theory in the life sciences, physics, or mathematics.

Watch the Breakthrough Prize Ceremony here: BreakthroughPrize/videos/ 1965587930133220/