Science made simple: Hong Kong teen’s video explainer on entropy puts her on the shortlist for 2019 Breakthrough Junior Challenge global science prize


The 18-year-old University of Hong Kong student will compete against other STEM enthusiasts from around the world in the semi-final round

Joanne Ma |

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Christy Wong, an 18-year-old Hong Kong student, was shortlisted as one of the semifinalists competing for US$400,000 (HK$3,130,000) in prizes in the fifth annual Breakthrough Junior Challenge global science video competition.

Breakthrough Prize Foundation announced last Wednesday the list of 30 semifinalists who come from all over the world.

“I’ve only been good at science in understanding the concepts, but not so much in explaining,” said Christy, who is a University of Hong Kong student, and the only semifinalist representing Hong Kong.

“Through this challenge, I realised that the best way to test if I’ve really grasped a concept is to see if I can present it in an understandable way.”

The semi-finalists each created a three-minute long video explaining concepts and theories in the physical or life sciences. They were encouraged to use engaging, imaginative and sometimes humorous ways to demonstrate those ideas.

They represented the top submissions following a review by the Evaluation Panel.

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As part of the “Popular Vote” phase of the competition, people from around the world can vote for their favourite video. All the submissions can be found on the Breakthrough Facebook page. The public voting is open until next Friday, September 20 at 11.59pm US west coast time (2.59pm Hong Kong time).

Whoever gets the highest combined total of Likes, Shares and positive reactions (Love, Haha, Wow) on the original video post on the Breakthrough Facebook page will automatically reach the final round of judging.

Christy’s video focuses on the topic of entropy. Entropy is a measure of the disorder or randomness in a given system. Apart from consolidating her knowledge on it, the challenge also allowed her to learn some video editing skills.

“To prepare for it, I’ve watched a lot of YouTube tutorial videos on Aftereffect,” Christy said.