Science is universal at Broadcom MASTERS International | Society for Science & the Public
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Broadcom MASTERS International

Science is universal at Broadcom MASTERS International

April 3, 2016
Broadcom MASTERS International 2015 delegates at the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Broadcom MASTERS International 2015 delegates at the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
PHOTO COURTESY OF SOCIETY FOR SCIENCE & THE PUBLIC.

Broadcom MASTERS International (BCMI) brings middle school students from across the world together to share their love of science. The program demonstrates that science is universal.

Delegate Adam Barry, from Ireland, said BCMI was one of the best experiences that has happened to him in his life. The Society caught up with several BCMI delegates since the competition:

BCMI delegates are building school servers, creating games, and studying for upcoming exams.

Kristyna Bednarova, from the Czech Republic, recently competed at a robotics competition and won a geography competition. She is starting to learn German. Kristyna also created a game that teaches how to recycle correctly, which can be played at https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/76554542/.

Jack Pollock, from England, has been working on his school's internal server network. "I'm currently working with my friend to build our own server for use in school to aid our STEM club and to provide a central server for all of our Raspberry Pi's to connect to."

Adam Barry, from Ireland, is still working on the same project that got him into the Broadcom MASTERS program. He's also studying for a Java Associate Developer certificate, an Oracle certified degree. "If I pass the exam, I will hypothetically be able to apply for a job!" he said.

Phoebe Chew, from Singapore, is currently studying for the General Certificate of Education Ordinary Level and an eight-subject combination, which includes: English, Mother Tongue (Chinese); Elementary Maths; Additional Maths; Chemistry; Physics; Combined Humanities (History/Social Studies); and Geography. She was also elected class president, signed up for the inter-school National Scrabble Championships, and is on her school's softball team. "It's going to be a busy year!" she said.

Raghav Ganesh, from the U.S., was a Broadcom MASTERS 2014 finalist and a 2015 semifinalist. He is currently exploring brain activity in a variety of ways and continuing his previous projects.

Raghav Ganesh won the Rising Stars Award for creating an interactive add-on for a white cane for the visually impaired at Broadcom MASTERS 2015. PHOTO COURTESY OF SOCIETY FOR SCIENCE & THE PUBLIC.
Raghav Ganesh won the Rising Stars Award for creating an interactive add-on for a white cane for the visually impaired at Broadcom MASTERS 2015. PHOTO COURTESY OF SOCIETY FOR SCIENCE & THE PUBLIC.

The delegates share what Broadcom MASTERS International meant to them.

The Broadcom MASTERS International program is so much more than an "international science camp," Raghav said. "Science is universal and this is a terrific program that brings middle school students from across so many countries together to exchange ideas, cultures, and interests with the backdrop of science. I am grateful to have been part of this fantastic program."

BCMI is the best youth science program you’ll ever attend, Phoebe said. "You get to make wonderful friends who share similar interests, and see science and technology from all over the world, and it’s amazing. It really motivated me to improve my project further so I can help make the world a better place to live in."

Adam enjoyed meeting new people at Broadcom MASTERS International. "It may very well be one of the best experiences that has and will ever happen to me in my whole life. I also was so happy when I was elected class speaker. It did mean an awful lot to me! I really miss my leader and all my other Broadcom MASTERS delegates."

People without a common first language can still easily collaborate using the language of science.

The Broadcom MASTERS International delegates had the opportunity to attend various field trips andIntel ISEF during the program. They describe their favorite moments.

Raghav's favorite field trip was the visit to the Disney labs. "I am fascinated by the new innovations being used by animators to make movies look more realistic and interesting," he said.

Raghav also enjoyed the trip to Intel ISEF. "I used the opportunity to talk to many budding scientists about their projects, learn about their research, and become introduced to new fields in science."

He said it was fun collaborating with people from other backgrounds. He witnessed firsthand how people without a common first language could still easily collaborate using the language of science.

For Phoebe, choosing a favorite moment is difficult. "This is a really tough question because I loved everything we did!"

But if she had to choose, she enjoyed building a radio during the visit to Carnegie Mellon University. "It was my first time soldering and I was a little scared of accidentally burning my fingers, but I got the hang of it really quickly," she said.

Do you have any advice for young people interested in science or engineering?

"I would tell other students to pursue their passion and try to think about the science behind things happening around them," Raghav said. "I got inspiration for each of my projects by observing the world around me and noticing areas for improvements."

Phoebe quoted French anthropologist and ethnologist Claude Lévi-Strauss: "The scientist is not a person who gives the right answers, he is one who asks the right questions." She said to just go for it. "The sky is not the limit. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes."