Morrocan Student Among Breakthrough Junior Challenge Semifinalists

Israe Derdak made it to the semifinals with an engaging video on exoplanetology.

Rabat – One of the brightest young minds amongst Moroccan students has made it to the semifinals of the worldwide Breakthrough Junior Challenge. The competition challenges young students to explain complicated scientific principles in short educational videos. Moroccan student Israe Derdak made it to the semifinals with an engaging video on exoplanetology, the study of extrasolar planets.

Derdak managed to grab the imagination of the online audience that judges the competition and made it to the coveted final 30 out of 5,600 participants in total. The amazing feat was likely due to her enthusiasm and visible passion for science as she explained exoplanetary science in a three minute clip posted online

In the video she explains the complicated science of exoplanetology, a new field in astronomy. Her ability to summarize and explain this difficult material in such a short time highlighted her ability as a science communicator and clearly won over many voices that voted for her. 

Derdak’s discernible enthusiasm and abilities have taken her to the semifinals, where her video is to be judged by visitors of the Breakthrough Junior Challenge facebook page. People can support this young Moroccan student in the competition by ‘liking’ her video on Facebook.

Who is Israe Derdak?

Derdak is a 16-year old Moroccan student with an interest in robotics and physics, the topic of the video that made her a semifinalist. She won second place at the Open Robotics Challenge and third place at the Arabic Robotics Challenge and now hopes to win the global science communication challenge presented by Breakthrough.

Derdak is an avid reader and writer. At age 14 she authored a children’s book titled “Be Positive,” available on Amazon. The talented Moroccan student hopes to study either astrophysics or astronautical engineering when she goes to university.

Winning the 2020 Breakthrough Junior Challenge could significantly help jump start her career as a successful scientist. The main prize is a $250,000 scholarship to fund the winner’s studies after high school. For Derdak the impressive cash prize is the perfect entry ticket for  some of the best universities in the world.
At the moment of writing, Derdak’s video has garnered 2,400 likes, which currently puts her in sixth place out of 30, with 9 days to go until voting closes. Fellow Moroccans and others who have been wowed by her impressively succinct summary of exoplanetology can vote for Israe Derdak until September 20.