Hakusanroku Journal 白山麓ジャーナル

August 14, 2021 The Breakthrough Junior Challenge

Hello everyone! This is Afaf Alaa second year. Summer vacation has started and I hope everyone is enjoying it to the fullest. I am relaxing and sleeping a lot as I did a lot of hard work and spent many sleepless nights when I was in school. Especially when I participated in a video-making competition two months ago. I will walk you through my video-making journey.

International contest named “The Breakthrough Junior Challenge”. This contest requires making a three-minute video explaining a concept in life science, physics, or mathematics. This year, to celebrate 60 years since the moon landing, space exploration was also in the topic. I participated in this contest because I wanted to achieve something and gain experience. Since many of the students participate in domestic competitions, I wanted to do something different. So, I chose this competition.

I broke down the video-making process into four steps. The first is to decide the topic and understand it well. The second is to make a storyboard for the video. The third is shooting all the needed scenes. Finally, editing the video. I had about two months to complete those steps.

The first stage was a hard one for me. I knew well that I love topics about space, so I searched about many topics in space exploration. However, everything was too interesting and I couldn’t choose just one topic. I tried linking two interesting topics. However, my physics teacher Ito sensei advised me not to do that as it is just a three minutes video so it will be too much information and confusing.  It was very hard for me to select just one topic. After a lot of research, I found a topic that is very interesting that I could visualize my video and my explanation when I read about it. It was about space debris or space “trash”. I decided on that and made more research. This step took more time than I expected. I thought It would take a week. However, it took about one month.

The deadline was coming near. I had to be very quick with the following steps. I had already visualized my video. I made a script and a storyboard. I showed it to another physics teacher Brandon sensei. He suggested cutting some parts because that would take too long. Three minutes was a strict rule in this competition. He checked my script and gave me some advice. Based on that I made my final script by making priorities and recording my time. I finished this process in about a week.

There were only three weeks left to the deadline, and I had many other school projects such as making a website for my Engineering Design class. Things were getting really stressful, but I had to continue. I used a blackboard to do the shooting. I wanted to make it animated so I would put a cut every letter I write. That took a lot of time.  I tried to concentrate well in class and finish my work so I can use all my free time in finalizing my video. I used all the after-class time in the shooting, all night to practice the script and make the hand-made tools for the video. I wake up at 6 am and sleep at 3 am on the weekends. I was in a rush and got less sleep.

I had only one week left for editing. I had to make all the videos I took in two weeks into a three minutes video.  All I had to do is to cut the videos little by little and adjust them with the narrating. I had to also search for free music and free sound effects which also took a lot of my effort. Several times my app crashed and everything I did was gone. That was very frustrating and I felt like giving up.  However, I didn’t give up for two main reasons. First, I had worked so hard for about two months. I felt like if I quit here I will betray myself and crush my self-esteem. I wouldn’t be able to believe that I can achieve anything anymore if I quit. The second and the main reason is that I wanted to make my parents proud of me. My parents have always been my number one supporters. Throughout the video-making process, they would give me calls to encourage me and send me my favorite snack to school. I appreciated that.

 I thought finishing this video will make them very happy and proud. Throughout the sleepless nights, I reminded myself of that and wiped my tears while continuing editing.

I was finally done with the editing the night before the submission deadline. I showed my parents and they were so happy! I did some final adjustments and was ready to submit. However, I realized that there were a lot of other steps needed for the applications. The school number, my address, about six paragraphs I had to write about the importance of science and why I applied, and so on. I had only 2 hours left. I had my video and everything so I had to be very quick with my writing and application process. While I was writing, I felt like I couldn’t make it. However, my teacher Pauline Sensei helped me a lot with grammar checking and guidance. Finally, I was able to submit just 30 minutes before the deadline. I was so relieved and checked my video on YouTube. When I rechecked my time, I felt like I was going to die. The time said three minutes and 1 second. I was devastated. In my app, I had 3 mins and 0.23 seconds. I didn’t think that it would count. I have already submitted my link so I cannot reupload it. Pauline Sensei told me that editing on YouTube itself was possible. So, she helped me cut the 0.23 seconds on YouTube. I could finalize the submission only 15 minutes before the deadline.

I felt so relieved and happy! I have finally achieved something that I can feel proud of. I had a very short time but I didn’t give up! From that video, whenever I feel like I cannot continue, I remind myself that I made this video! That’s what is keeping me going for a while. Many people congratulated me and I even got the chance to share my experience in this journal. I will keep trying my best to elongate my limit and become a stronger person. The results are going to be in November. It is very competitive so I am not expecting anything. But I had a great experience!

Afaf Alaa

Afaf's video


参加した海外のコンテストの名前は「The Breakthrough Junior Challenge」で、ライフサイエンス、物理、数学に関連するテーマについて解説する3分間の動画を制作するというものでした。今年は人類が月に着陸してから60年が経つ記念すべき年で、宇宙探査もテーマのひとつでした。コンテストに参加しようと思った理由は、何かを成し遂げたかったことと、経験を得たかったからでした。国内のコンテストに参加する学生はたくさんいるので、違ったことをしてみたいと思ってこのコンテストを選びました。







提出期限の前夜、ようやく編集が完了しました。両親に見せるとすごく喜んでくれました!コンテストに提出しようとしたら、申請のためにいくつかのステップがあることに気づきました。学校の電話番号や、自分の住所、科学の大切さとコンテストに参加した理由について書く6段落くらいの文章などです。残り2時間しかありませんでした。動画は完成していたので、急いで申請しなければなりませんでした。書きながら間に合わないのではないかと心配になりましたが、ポーリン先生が文法チェックと指導をしてくれました。そして、締め切りの30分前に提出することができました。ほっとした私はYouTubeの動画をチェックすると、死ぬかと思いました。動画時間が3分1秒と表示されていたのです。絶望しました。アプリでは3分と0.23秒となっていたのですが、それがカウントされるとは思っていませんでした。すでに提出していたので、再度アップロードすることはできません。しかし、ポーリン先生がYouTube上で動画を編集できることを教えてくれて、0.23秒削ることを手伝ってくれました。これを完了したのは提出期限の15分前でした。 すごくほっとして嬉しくなりました。ようやく誇りに思えることを達成できたのです。足りない時間の中で諦めませんでした。この動画のおかげで、くじけそうになった時は、このコンテストのことを思い出せばいいのです!ここ最近はそのおかげで頑張ることができています。たくさんの人が褒めてくれて、このジャーナルに体験を掲載することもできました。これからも自分の限界に挑戦して、より成長した人間になるように頑張ります。コンテストの結果は11月に発表されます。とてもレベルが高いので、入選は期待していません。ですが、本当に良い経験となりました。





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