Meet The Broadcom MASTERS 30 Finalists – the Nation’s Top Middle School STEM Leaders & Innovators

Student Innovators to Compete in Virtual Competition

WASHINGTON, DC – Broadcom Foundation and Society for Science today announced the 30 finalists in the 11th annual Broadcom MASTERS®, the nation’s premier Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) middle school competition. After a year where all our lives were impacted by the pandemic, more than 25% of the finalists are taking on a challenge that we all faced in 2020 and 2021: COVID-19.

Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering for Rising Stars), a program founded and produced by the Society for Science, seeks to inspire young scientists, engineers and innovators who will solve the grand challenges of the future. Each of the 30 finalists will participate in team challenges in addition to being judged on their science research project during a virtual competition scheduled to take place from October 22 to October 28. The challenges leverage 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.

“I’m once again dazzled by the caliber of our 30 Broadcom MASTERS finalists, especially because they faced tremendous adversity conducting scientific research and developing engineering prototypes during the pandemic,” said Paula Golden, President of Broadcom Foundation. “For all of the associates with Broadcom Inc. and Broadcom Foundation, this is a very special year since we are celebrating more than a decade of sponsoring this wonderful middle school competition in partnership with the Society for Science.”

“While living through this pandemic, these students embraced the critical nature of science to our daily lives, with many finalists researching topics connected to COVID-19,” said Maya Ajmera, President and CEO of the Society for Science and Publisher of Science News. “These young people make me hopeful about our future. They will solve the world’s most intractable problems.”

2021 Broadcom MASTERS Finalists Fast Facts:

  • Half of the finalists are female and half are male
  • Students represent 15 states
  • States with multiple finalists: eight from California; four from New Jersey, three from Oregon and Texas, and two from Florida.
  • States with one finalist: Arizona, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia.
  • Finalist projects cover multiple disciplines of science, including environmental and earth science, electrical and mechanical engineering, microbiology, physics, bioengineering, computer science, software engineering, behavioral and social sciences, energy and sustainability, animal science, chemistry and plant science.

The finalists’ projects focus on a variety of topics, including:

  • The impact of dance training on neurons in the brain
  • The spread of infectious diseases
  • In-car warning systems for drunk driving
  • Water purification
  • Wildfires
  • The impact of various face masks on the spread of COVID-19

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 will participate in the finals week of the competition, encompassing multiple team challenges, where they will compete for the following awards:

  • $25,000 Samueli Foundation Prize, a gift of Susan and Henry Samueli, Chairman of the Board, Broadcom Inc., & Chair, 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 DoD STEM Talent Award, 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.
  • $10,000 Lemelson Award for Invention, awarded by The Lemelson Foundation to a young inventor who creates a promising solution to a real-world problem.
  • $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.
  • $5,000 Broadcom Coding with Commitment Award, recognizing a finalist whose project and performance combines expert STEM knowledge and passion for helping or improving one’s community through computation/coding.
  • 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, 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 2022 Broadcom MASTERS International next spring. Delegates will attend the Regeneron 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.


For more information on the Broadcom MASTERS, visit the Broadcom Foundation and Society websites. To keep up with the Broadcom MASTERS, use the hashtag #brcmMASTERS or follow Broadcom Foundation and the Society on Twitter or the Society on Instagram. And to stay connected, visit the Broadcom MASTERS and Society Facebook pages. You can also follow the Society on Snapchat (Society4Science).

About Broadcom Foundation

Founded in April 2009, the Broadcom Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation the mission of advancing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education by funding research, recognizing scholarship and increasing opportunity.

The foundation inspires young people to pursue careers in STEM and to develop 21st Century skills of critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity.  It is a founding member of the National STEM Funders Network and plays a leadership role in the STEM Education Ecosystem Initiative in the US and Israel.

The foundation’s signature programs, the Broadcom MASTERS® and the Broadcom MASTERS® International, are the premier science and engineering competitions for middle school students around the United States and the world.

Learn more at and follow us on Twitter (@BroadcomSTEM).

About Society for Science Society for Science is dedicated to the achievement of young scientists in independent research and to public engagement in science. Established in 1921, the Society is a nonprofit whose vision is to promote the understanding and appreciation of science and the vital role it plays in human advancement. Through its world-class competitions, including the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair and the Broadcom MASTERS, and its award-winning magazine, Science News and Science News for Students, Society for Science is committed to inform, educate and inspire. Learn more at and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Snapchat (Society4Science).