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Ryan Chester/YouTube

This teen just won $400,000 for explaining the theory of relativity

The money will go toward scholarships, teaching, and the school.


Cynthia McKelvey

Internet Culture

Posted on Nov 11, 2015   Updated on May 27, 2021, 4:13 pm CDT

Do you understand the theory of relativity? No? Here’s an 18-year-old to explain it to you:

Ryan Chester, featured in the video, submitted it for the Breakthrough Junior Challenge: an annual contest for kids aged 13 to 18 to share their passion for math, science, technology, and engineering. The challenge is funded by Mark Zuckerberg’s Silicon Valley Community Foundation and the Milner Global Foundation.

His video was selected out of roughly 1,000 for a $400,000 award. According to Motherboard, $250,000 of that will go toward a scholarship for Chester, $50,000 will go toward his teacher, and $100,000 will be used to build a school science lab.

Einstein’s theory of relativity doesn’t often come up in everyday life, unless you’re a physicist and/or trying to calculate how long it may take to reach a particular destination in outer space. But, as Chester’s video shows, understanding it does help us make sense of the connection between ourselves, the universe, and the weird little particles that connect us all throughout space and time.

H/T Motherboard | Screengrab via Ryan Chester/YouTube

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*First Published: Nov 11, 2015, 10:50 pm CST