QRC student semifinalist in international Breakthrough Junior Challenge

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Armani Adams –

Armani Adams’ passion for science has secured him a spot in the annual Breakthrough Junior Challenge competition.

The Queen’s Royal College student, 17, from D’Abadie, is one of 30 semifinalists from thousands of applicants worldwide in the US-based contest for students between 13 and 18.

The form six student represents the TT/ South American region.

The NGO Breakthrough Prize Foundation, founded by technology investor and science philanthropist Yuri Milner, organised the event in keeping with its pledge to support science and the communication of scientific ideas.

Along with Milner, other board members include Mark Zuckerberg, Anne Wojcicki, and chairman Huda Yahya Zoghbi.

Adams recalled that a friend told him about the competition. He submitted an original video centred on the concept of light, identifying the different types and sharing their importance.

He told Newsday, “It’s an opportunity to be creative and share new and meaningful ideas. I believe that science is meaningful. We must engage in science education given how the world is advancing.”

Each student/applicant submitted a video explaining a challenging and important concept or theory in mathematics, life sciences, or physics.

Adams’s video focuses on photons and the electromagnetic spectrum, which is used in everyday activities like texting and heating food (microwaves).

Armani Adams –

He said there are different types of light waves, such as radio, infrared, visible, ultraviolet, x-ray and gamma-ray.

Most people do not know what light is, he said.

Adams encourages viewers to look at atoms as a ladder. He said under the right condition, an electron can absorb kinetic energy making it jump to a higher energy level.

He added that when an electron releases energy, it falls to a lower energy level.

“The tiny bits of kinetic energy that electrons absorb or release of what is called a photon,” he explains in the video.

“They aren’t made of any matter, and with zero mass, they travel through space as electric fields and magnetic fields, creating an electromagnetic wave that moves so fast that no object in the universe can beat its speed record.”

The more energy the photons have, the shorter the length of their waves, creating a whole family of different light waves called the electromagnetic spectrum.

Adams said it ranges from radio waves being the size of buildings or even planets to gamma rays being smaller than atoms.

The Breakthrough Junior Challenge was founded in 2015 to “inspire creative thinking about science.”

The winner receives a college scholarship worth US$250,000.

The winner’s teacher, as nominated by the student, gets US$50,000, and the school receives a state-of-the-art science lab worth US$100,000.

Adams’s video, uploaded on YouTube and Facebook, has made it to the Popular Vote challenge.

He encourages the public to like it now to make it go straight to the final round before the September 20 deadline.

The video can be found on the links https://fb.watch/fDl2wAx3DV/ and https://youtu.be/u66d-DVg8jQ.

Besides science, Adams said he is passionate about filmmaking and graphic design.

Ra’Nasia Sangster, associate account executive of the PR firm Rubenstein, said Adams is the first from TT to be a semifinalist in the competition. Sangster is working with the organisers to promote the competition.