Top 30 Broadcom MASTERS finalists unveiled as the nation’s most promising middle school STEM innovators - Society for Science Skip to content

Top 30 Broadcom MASTERS finalists unveiled as the nation’s most promising middle school STEM innovators


Broadcom Foundation and Society for Science & the Public today announced the 30 finalists in the 9th annual Broadcom MASTERS®, the nation’s premier Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) middle school competition. 

Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering for Rising Stars), a program founded and produced by the Society for Science & the Public, seeks to inspire young scientists, engineers and innovators who will solve the grand challenges of the future.  

“Congratulations to all our amazing finalists!” said Paula Golden, President of the Broadcom Foundation. “It is exciting to see so many young women scientists and engineers – 60% – in the competition this year. I believe that this bodes well for achieving greater gender equity in future STEM careers.”

The finalists will travel to Washington, DC from October 25 – 30 where they will participate in a rigorous competition that leverages Project-based Learning to test and demonstrate their mastery of 21st Century skills of critical thinking, communication, creativity and collaboration in each of the STEM areas.

In addition to participating in team challenges, the finalists will meet with government officials on October 29 and showcase their projects for the public during a free event at the University of the District of Columbia on October 26 from 1-3:30 p.m. Winners will be named during an awards ceremony on October 29 at the Sidney Harman Hall.

“I applaud our top 30 Broadcom MASTERS finalists and look forward to meeting them in Washington, DC,” said Maya Ajmera, President & CEO of the Society for Science & the Public and Publisher of Science News. “Although they are only in middle school, these young people are poised to help solve our world’s most intractable problems.” 

2019 Broadcom MASTERS Fast Facts:

  • 60% of the finalists are female (18) and 40% are male (12)
  • Students from 28 schools, across 13 states
  • Most populous states: 10 from California; three from Texas and Utah; two from Louisiana, Ohio, Oregon, and Pennsylvania 
  • States with one finalist: Alabama, Arizona, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Mexico and New York
  • Finalists were selected by a panel of distinguished scientists and engineers from 2,348 applicants in 47 states, Washington, DC and two US territories.
  • Finalist projects cover multiple disciplines of science, including environmental and earth science, medicine and health science, electrical and mechanical engineering, microbiology, biochemistry, bioengineering, computer science, software engineering, behavioral and social sciences, energy and sustainability, animal science, chemistry and plant science.
  • While finalists’ independent research projects include a range of topics, most of the 2019 projects focus on environmental issues. Project topics include:
    • Examining the impact of automotive exhaust on bacteria
    • Improving automobile safety
    • Deactivating opioids
    • Using plants as coagulants to purify drinking water
    • Developing a tool to screen for genetic mutations
    • Monitoring water quality

A full list of the finalists can be viewed here:

The Broadcom MASTERS is the only middle school STEM competition that leverages Society-affiliated science fairs as a crucial component of the STEM talent pipeline. Only the top 10 percent of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade projects entered into Society-affiliated fairs around the country are eligible to apply.

All finalists receive a $500 cash award and an all-expense paid trip to Washington, DC, for the competition, where they will compete for the following awards:

  • $25,000 Samueli Foundation Prize, a gift of Susan and Henry Samueli, Co-Founder of Broadcom Corporation and Chairman of the Broadcom Foundation, for the student who demonstrates mastery of all STEM fields, and exemplifies how research, innovation and teamwork come together to impact our everyday lives.
  • $10,000 Lemelson Award for Invention, awarded by The Lemelson Foundation to a young inventor creating promising solutions to real-world problems.
  • $10,000 Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation, awarded to a student who demonstrates both vision and promise as an innovator.
  • $10,000 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Advancement, which recognizes the student whose work and performance show the most promise in health-related fields, and demonstrates an understanding of the many social factors that affect the health of communities.
  • $10,000 STEM Talent Award, sponsored by DoD STEM, which will be awarded to a finalist who 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.
  • First and Second Place Awards issued in each category of STEM of $3,500 or $2,500, respectively, to be used toward a STEM summer camp experience, plus an iPad, with top awards in math from Robert John Floe, President Floe Financial Partners.
  • Two Rising Stars in sixth or seventh grade will be named as delegates to represent the U.S. at the 2020 Broadcom MASTERS International next spring in Anaheim, California. Delegates will attend the International Science and Engineering Fair, the world’s largest international high school science fair.

Broadcom MASTERS recognizes finalists’ science teachers with a one-year classroom subscription to Science News magazine and awards the finalists’ schools with $1,000 each to use toward STEM activities.

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