Published: 21st November 2018
16-year-old Bengalurean, Samay Godika, wins college scholarship for his video on Circadian Rhythm
A Class 11 student of National Public School, Koramangala in Bengaluru, Samay represented India and his school at the Breakthrough Junior Challenge this year
A video explaining circadian rhythm, a biological process that displays an endogenous, entrainable oscillation of about 24 hours, has gone viral on YouTube. Samay Godika, 16, a student of National Public School, Koramangala, won the Breakthrough Junior Challenge in which students have to create videos to explain a concept in Physics, Life Sciences or Mathematics.
Samay's video explaining circadian rhythm — daily biological processes — earned him a college scholarship of $ 250,000, while his teacher in ninth and tenth grade Pramila Menon will receive $50,000. The school will also be provided with a science lab valued at $ 100,000.
If you have ever noticed that you tend to feel energised and drowsy around the same times every day, you have your circadian rhythm to thank. So what is it, exactly? Your circadian rhythm is basically a 24-hour internal clock placed inside your body that is running in the background of your brain and cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals. It is also famously known as your sleep or wake cycle. "I have asthma, and the attacks tend to increase in the morning on a regular basis. When I researched about why that happens, I came across the Circadian Rhythm, and it fascinated and so I decided to create the video based on the topic," explains Samay.
A Class XI student of National Public School, Koramangala, Samay represented India and his school at the Breakthrough Junior Challenge this year and brought back the top prize awarded in the science category. The 16-year-old won the award competing with 13 other finalists among approximately 8,000 entries. The Breakthrough Junior Challenge is an annual global competition for students aged between 13 to 18 years from countries around the globe to create and submit original videos which bring to life a concept or theory present in life sciences, physics or mathematics.
Samay’s winning video explains circadian rhythms and also how it affects the effectiveness of medical treatments.
I personally feel that chronotherapy is the future of medical treatments and that has been a vital reason that I chose circadian rhythm as the topic for my video. Chronotherapy is explained as the treatment of an illness or disorder by administering a drug at a time of day believed to be in harmony with the body's natural rhythms (such as the circadian rhythm)
Samay Godika, winner, Breakthrough Junior Challenge
In 2017, Samay's video was the only Indian one to have made it to the Junior Challenge finals. But he didn’t take home the winning prize last year. Samay, who was born in Boston and shifted to Bengaluru 10 years ago, says the challenge gave him a chance to combine two of his interests — video making and science. Samay has a YouTube channel that is also called Samay Godika. He likes to read books especially autobiographies and biographies.