Eligibility and Important Information

Finalists during challenge at 2019 BCM Finals Week
Finalists during challenge at 2019 BCM Finals Week Linda Doane

Who can enter the Broadcom MASTERS®?

Society affiliated science & engineering fairs are provided the opportunity to nominate the top 10% of 6th, 7th and 8th grade student participants for this national competition through their judging procedures. Nominees then need to complete an online application for a chance to compete at the national level.

Update for the 2020 Broadcom MASTERS Competition: Given the many fair cancellations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Society for Science & the Public and Broadcom Foundation have made the decision to modify our eligibility rules for the 2020 competition by opening the Broadcom MASTERS 2020 application to any middle school student who was registered at a Broadcom MASTERS affiliate fair this academic year.

If you, your student, or your child was registered at an affiliate fair this year, please contact your fair for information on how to apply.  You can also email masters@societyforscience.org for more information.

What are the prizes?

Prizes are awarded at all levels:

  • Nominee:  The nomination is a great honor, as it designates the project as among the top 10% of middle school science fair projects in the US. Each Nominee received a special Broadcom MASTERS swag item in their packets.
  • Entrant: All nominees who enter are eligible to receive a, bumper sticker and other prizes, including a special edition booklet of Invention and Innovation articles from Science News for Students, courtesy of the Lemelson Foundation. For 2020, the first 5,000 nominees who enter are eligible to receive a Broadcom MASTERS t-shirt. Entrants join the Society alumni network.
  • Top 300 Project: All Top 300 MASTERS will receive $125 courtesy of DoD STEM.  Top 300 MASTERS also receive an award ribbon; digital Science News family subscription; Broadcom MASTERS backpack and decal; Invention Journal, courtesy of The Lemelson Foundation, and a solar charger from Jeff Glassman, CEO Covington Capital Management.
  • Top 300 Project Teacher: Broadcom MASTERS tote bag, a one-year digital subscription to Science News magazine, and the special edition booklet of Invention and Innovation articles from Science News for Students, courtesy of the Lemelson Foundation.
  • Finalist: $500, an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, DC for finalist and a parent or guardian and the opportunity to win more awards:
    • $25,000 Samueli Foundation Prize in honor of overall STEM excellence
    • $10,000 Lemelson Award for Invention, sponsored by the Lemelson Foundation
    • $10,000 Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation
    • $10,000 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Advancement
    • $10,000 DoD STEM Talent Award
    • 1st and 2nd place STEM awards awarded in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math categories. First place receives $3,500 and second place receives $2,500 to support a summer camp of your choice and an iPad. Math awards are sponsored by Robert John Floe, President, Floe Financial Partners.
    • Rising Star Award: trip to attend ISEF and represent the United States at the Broadcom MASTERS International Program
  • Finalist Teachers: digital Science News classroom subscription
  • Finalist Schools: $1,000 to use on STEM activities, courtesy of Broadcom Foundation

How do I get started?

Students in 6th, 7th or 8th grade interested in participating must first complete a science fair project and compete in an Society affiliate fair. Most fairs take place between January and April. Go to the Find a Society Affiliated Fair to find the affiliated fair in your area.

What is a Society Affiliated Fair?

A Society Affiliated science fair is a science competition that is a member of Society for Science & the Public’s (the Society) fair network. These competitions exist in nearly every state in the U.S. and more than 70 countries, regions, and territories.  They are held at the local, regional, state and national level.  These fairs agree to follow the International Rules and in most cases, also send high school students to the International Science and Engineering Fair.  To find a fair in your area, go to Find a Society Affiliated Fair.  If your fair is not listed or there is not a fair in your area, and you are interested in affiliating for Broadcom MASTERS, you can find more information here.

If my school does not participate with an Society Affiliate Fair, can I have my student just enter an application directly?

No, unfortunately your student is not able to enter directly.  However, if your school has a science fair and the coordinator would like to affiliate, please find more information here about how to affiliate your school science fair and provide the opportunity to name the top 10% of your students to the Broadcom MASTERS.

If we currently are a Society Affiliated Fair that sends high school students to ISEF, can the middle school students participate in Broadcom MASTERS?  Is there a cost?

If you have not already done so, all you need to do is confirm with the Society that you want to participate in Broadcom MASTERS and provide us with some basic information including estimates of the number of middle school students that participate in your fair. There is no additional cost to add Broadcom MASTERS to your portfolio. If any of your nominees are selected as finalists, Broadcom MASTERS covers the cost of a student and ONE parent/guardian to attend the finals.

What do I do after I have won a Broadcom MASTERS Nomination?

Congratulations on this great honor! Tweet your #brcmmasters excitement! All Broadcom MASTERS nominees are eligible to complete an online application to compete to become one of the top 300 MASTERS or one of 30 Finalists named who will compete for a top award of $25,000. This online application includes essay questions about your science fair project and essay questions about understanding science and engineering in your everyday life.  For more information, go to For Nominees.

Can students who have completed team research enter Broadcom MASTERS?

Yes, but each student must submit an individual application. The application requires students to answer questions independently, as the project description only covers a portion of the application, and our judges want to distinguish how each student contributed to the project. A significant portion of the application addresses STEM topics other than the project. It is possible that only one team member could become one of the top 300 Broadcom MASTERS or a finalist. A student from a team may enter even if his/her teammate does not.

Is there a fee or cost for students to apply? And if a student is selected as a finalist, what costs does the fair, student, or parent incur?

There is no fee for students to apply online. There is no cost for finalists plus ONE parent/guardian to attend the Broadcom MASTERS Finals in October.

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