DoD STEM spotlights Broadcom MASTERS winners - Society for Science Skip to content

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DoD STEM spotlights Broadcom MASTERS winners

By Gayle Kansagor

The Broadcom MASTERS, the Society for Science’s premier national middle school STEM competition, awards approximately $100,000 in prizes annually, inspiring the next generation of young scientists and engineers. This includes six top awards.

In 2019, the Society for Science and DoD STEM together launched the $10,000 DoD STEM Talent Award, given to a top Broadcom MASTERS winner annually who most demonstrates excellence in science, technology, engineering or math, along with the leadership and technical skills necessary to excel in the 21st Century STEM workforce and build a better community for tomorrow.

DoD STEM sat down with their 2019, 2020 and 2021 winners to learn more about their research and their passion for STEM. The interviews documented in three short films highlight the incredible work being done by Lauren Ejiaga (2019 winner), Charlotte Michaluk (2020 winner) and Camellia Sharma (2021 winner).

Lauren, who is from New Orleans, Louisiana, focused her Broadcom MASTERS research on how current levels of ultraviolet light from the sun due to ozone depletion impacts plant growth and performance. Lauren shares that she is continuing her environmental research today. She also discusses her views on being a Black woman in STEM, sharing her concerns about the lack of resources available to many Black women.

Meanwhile, Charlotte, who is from Pennington, New Jersey, was inspired to do her Broadcom MASTERS project after volunteering with a local environmental group. Her love of SCUBA diving also led her to become interested in the problem of biofouling. She found that a silicone type called PDMS combined with 3D models mimicking Mako shark teeth could improve the coating for cargo ship hulls by limiting biofouling and the transfer of invasive species. Today, Charlotte is continuing her research and recommends that young scientists find something that is compelling and then immerse themselves in that subject from many different angles.

Camellia who hails from Henrico, Virginia, is working on patenting her invention. She built a 3D-printed aerial drone/boat that can fly to a specific spot, land on the water and take underwater photos for her Broadcom MASTERS project. Her AI software can then count the fish living there, an important tool for understanding biodiversity and how aquatic ecosystems are being affected by climate change.

You can learn more about Lauren, Charlotte and Camellia by watching their videos, which are all available here. Note that the deadline for the 2022 Broadcom MASTERS application is June 15, 2022 at 8pm ET. Remember, you have nothing to lose by entering, so apply today! For more information, please visit our Nominee and Eligibility and Important Information pages.

Email with any questions about the application or competition. 

Aparna Paul