2016 Broadcom MASTERS Awards $100,000 in Prizes

Eleanor Wren Sigrest Wins $25,000 Samueli Prize for STEM Leadership and Innovation for Her Research on Cold Gas Rockets

WASHINGTON, DC – November 1, 2016 

Top Winners

  • Eleanor Wren Sigrest (age 13) of Woodbridge, VA wins $25,000 Samueli Foundation Prize for her STEM knowledge and ability to collaborate, inspire and motivate others as a natural leader
  • Aria Eppinger (age 15) of Pittsburgh, PA wins $20,000 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Advancement for showing the most promise in health-related fields
  • Kaien Yang (age 14) of Chantilly, VA wins $10,000 Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation based on his aptitude and skill in technical and mathematical concepts while demonstrating superior teamwork
  • Nathan Deng (age 14) of San Marino, CA wins $7,500 Lemelson Award for Invention for creating a promising solution to a real-world problem.

Broadcom Foundation and Society for Science & the Public (the Society) today announced the winners of the sixth annual national Broadcom MASTERS® competition for sixth, seventh and eighth graders. Broadcom Foundation and the Society also announced first and second place winners in each of the STEM categories of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, the Team Award and two Rising Stars who will be the U.S. delegates at the Broadcom MASTERS International and official observers to Intel ISEF.

“The thirty finalists of the Broadcom MASTERS are exemplars of the millions of young people who are pursuing their passions in science, technology, engineering and math,” said Paula Golden, President of the Broadcom Foundation.  “Celebrating the success of our 2016 Broadcom MASTERS winners gives us a chance to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of young people everywhere who are pursuing their dreams to become scientists, engineers and innovators and to thank the millions of parents and family, teachers, after school program leaders, mentors and friends who encourage them daily to achieve great heights in STEM.”

The $25,000 Samueli Foundation Prize is a gift of Dr. Henry Samueli, co-founder of Broadcom Corporation and Chair of the Broadcom Foundation and his wife, Dr. Susan Samueli, President of the Samueli Foundation. In addition to the grand prize, Dr. Samueli also presented the $10,000 Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation, an honor made possible by Samueli’s generous donation of his 2012 Marconi Society Prize award. 

This year, the Broadcom MASTERS unveiled two new awards: the $20,000 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Advancement, which recognizes the student whose work and performance shows the most promise in health-related fields and the $7,500 Lemelson Award for Invention, awarded by The Lemelson Foundation to a young inventor creating promising solutions to real-world problems.

Broadcom MASTERS winners were chosen from the 30 top finalists (15 girls and 15 boys) from 15 states, 28 public and private schools and one home school. Winners were selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, engineers and educators. The finalists were selected from 2,342 nationwide competitors nominated by judges at 300 state and regional science fairs from 49 states and 4 US territories.

“Society for Science & the Public believes it is vital to encourage middle school age students to deepen and enhance their interest in fields related to science, technology, engineering and math. Through this competition, we are cultivating a group of young scientists who will someday address many of our global challenges,” said Maya Ajmera, President and Chief Executive Officer of Society for Science & the Public and Publisher of Science News. “I would like to congratulate Eleanor, our top 2016 Broadcom MASTERS winner, and I’m excited to see where her interest in STEM takes her.”

Winners Include:

The Samueli Foundation Prize: $25,000
Winner: Eleanor Wren Sigrest, 13, Woodbridge, VA
Project: Rockets and Nozzles, and Thrusts, Oh My

Eleanor was awarded the Samueli Foundation Prize for her mastery of STEM principles and team leadership demonstrated throughout the rigorous weeklong competition. Inspired by the SpaceX explosion, Eleanor experimented with cold gas rocket nozzles to contribute to the engineering knowledge on the subject.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Advancement: $20,000
Winner: Aria Eppinger, 15, Pittsburgh, PA
Project: Roundup’s Effect on Human Gut Bacteria

Aria was awarded the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Advancement for her promise in a health-related field. For her research, Aria grew two types of bacteria found in the human gut and tested the effect of Roundup on that gut bacteria.  

Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation: $10,000
Winner: Kaien Yang, 14, Chantilly, VA.
Project: iDiagnostic: Invention of an Early Detection Tool for Major Depressive Disorder

Kaien was awarded the Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation for his vision and promise as an innovator who, in the spirit of radio inventor Guglielmo Marconi, demonstrated aptitude and skill in technical and mathematical concepts both with his science fair project and throughout team challenges. Kaien created an app that uses statistical data to predict the risk for major depressive disorder with an accuracy of 93 percent.   

Lemelson Award for Invention: $7,500
Winner: Nathan Deng, 14, San Marino, CA
Project: Drop by Drop: Manipulating the Surface Tension of Water to Find the Best Way of Cleaning
Nathan was awarded the Lemelson Award for Invention for seeking to solve a real-world problem like oil spills through an invention.  Through his research, Nathan sought to find an efficient cleaning method that is sustainable and environmentally safe.

STEM Award Winners:
First and Second Place winners of STEM Awards demonstrated acumen and promise in science, technology, engineering and math. First place winners were awarded $3,500 and second place winners receive $2,500 to support his or her choice of a STEM summer camp experience in the U.S. Each STEM Award winner also received an iPad.

Science Award:

  • First place: Ananya Ganesh, Sandy Springs, GA, for Bruxism: Using Myoelectric Signals to Treat a Common Health Problem
  • Second place: Cynthia Chen, Cupertino, CA for A Novel Method for Reducing Water Consumption in Germinating Seeds

Technology Award:

  • First place: Adishree Ghatare, San Jose, CA for A Software Application as a Learning Platform for Increasing Memory Retention of Definitions of Words
  • Second place: Shreya Ramachandran, Fremont, CA for The Effect of Soap Nut Grey Water on the Environment

Engineering Award:

  • First place: Brendan Crotty, Muskogee, OK for Comparative Study of Insulating Materials for a Gas Forge
  • Second place: Emhyr Subramanian, Aurora, CO for A Study of Super-Absorbent Polymers and their Effectiveness in Organic Waste Extraction

Mathematics Award:

  • First place: Anushka Naiknaware , Portland, OR for Chitosan and Carbon Nanoparticle based Biocompatible Sensor for Wound Management
  • Second place: Olivia Lazorik, Fort Pierce, FL for Climate Change Problem: The Effect of Ocean Acidification on the Growth and Coloration of Lysmata wurdemanni

Rising Stars Award:
In recognition of their promise as the youngest competitors, two Rising Stars win a trip to Los Angeles in May 2017 as the United States delegate to Broadcom MASTERS International and Official Observer at Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the world’s largest international high school science fair competition.

  • James Fagan, Riverside, CA for A Wind Tunnel to Test for the Best Aerodynamic Characteristics for Flight on Mars
  • Ashini Modi, Shreveport, LA for Dark Matter: The Hidden Universe

Team Award:
Each member of the team that best demonstrates their ability to work together, and solve problems through shared decision making, communication and scientific and engineering collaboration will receive an iPod nano.

  • Winners: Nathan Deng, Aria Eppinger, Anushka Naiknaware, Rachel Pizzolato, and Lucas Ritzdorf

Scott A. McGregor Leadership Award:
Finalists select one student from the group based on their leadership abilities to represent their class as  a speaker at the awards ceremony.

  • Winner: Nikolai Ortiz

The Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology, and Engineering for Rising Stars) program helps middle school students translate a personal interest into a passion for science, engineering and innovation, and encourages them to continue studying science and math through high school and college. Sponsored by Broadcom Foundation, a non-profit public benefit organization funded by Broadcom Corporation, the Broadcom MASTERS is a program of Society for Science & the Public. The Society has been the leader of the world’s most prestigious science competitions for more than seven decades.

For more information on the Broadcom MASTERS, visit the Broadcom Foundation and Society websites or visit Broadcom Foundation’s Newsroom and read the B-Inspired Blog. To keep up with the Broadcom MASTERS on Twitter, use hashtag #brcmMASTERS or follow Broadcom and the Society. And to stay connected, visit the Broadcom MASTERS and Society Facebook pages.

About Broadcom Foundation:
Broadcom Foundation was founded to inspire and enable young people throughout the world to enter careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through partnerships with local schools, colleges, universities and nonprofit organizations. Broadcom Foundation is the proud sponsor of the Broadcom MASTERS®, a program of Society for Science & the Public – a premier science and engineering competition for middle school children. The Foundation’s mission is to advance education in STEM by funding research, recognizing scholarship and increasing opportunity. Learn more at www.broadcomfoundation.org.  

About Society for Science & the Public:
Society for Science & the Public is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization dedicated to the achievement of young researchers in independent research and to public engagement in science. Established in 1921, its vision is to promote the understanding and appreciation of science and the vital role it plays in human advancement. Through its acclaimed education competitions, including the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, and the Broadcom MASTERS, and its award-winning publications, Science News and Science News for Students, Society for Science & the Public is committed to inform, educate, and inspire. Learn more at www.societyforscience.org

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Broadcom Foundation
Dana Orsini

Society for Science & the Public
Gayle Kansagor 703-489-1131