30 National Finalists in Sixth Annual Middle School STEM Competition


Equal Number of Boys and Girls Compete for Prizes with Projects Including Wildfire Detection Software, Dark Matter, Depression Diagnostics, Ocean Acidification, Among Others

WASHINGTON, DC – September 20, 2016

  • 30 U.S. middle school students awarded trip to Washington, DC to compete for $100,000 in awards from October 27-November 1
  • Finalists join 150 Broadcom MASTERS alumni who have achieved the highest national middle school STEM accolades
  • Finalists are champions in their community, representing a pool of more than 6,000 nominated students nationwide

Broadcom Foundation and Society for Science & the Public today announced the selection of 30 finalists in the sixth annual Broadcom MASTERS® — the nation’s most prestigious Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) middle school competition. Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering for Rising Stars) winners will be named on November 1 after completion of a rigorous competition that will test their abilities in STEM, critical thinking, communication, creativity and collaboration.

Find the full listing of 2016 finalists and project descriptions at the Society and Broadcom Foundation websites. 

Finalist Overview:

  • Finalists include 15 girls and 15 boys representing 28 schools and one home school in 15 states
  • California has eight finalists, Florida and Georgia each have three, and Louisiana, Maryland, Texas and Virginia each have two
  • Finalists were selected by a panel of distinguished scientists and engineers from among 300 semifinalists and record high of 2,343 applicants in 49 states and four territories
  • Finalists’ independent research projects include a range of topics such as:
    • A Wind Tunnel to Test for the Best Aerodynamic Characteristics for Flight on Mars
    • Do I Grind? A Wearable System that Detects Bruxism Ahead of its Effect on Teeth
    • A Software Application as a Learning Platform for Increasing Memory Retention of Definitions of Words
    • When Your Christmas Tree Gets Drier, It Increases the Chance of Fire
    • “Saving Babies”: Preventing Heat Stroke Implementing a Novel Car Seat Alarm System

“There is a sense of urgency to inspire more young people to become the scientists and engineers of the future,” said Paula Golden, President, Broadcom Foundation. “Our quality of life depends upon solving the grand challenges in health care, transportation, communication, environmental protection and sustainability. Broadcom Foundation is  honored to partner with Society for Science & the Public to reach hundreds of thousands of young people with an important message that they can become the STEM innovators who will tackle these 21st century challenges. We look forward to celebrating the extraordinary achievements of this year’s Broadcom MASTERS finalists who are exemplars of inspired young science fair participants throughout the United States at the sixth annual Broadcom MASTERS.”

“The Society is proud to celebrate this impressive group of middle school scientists and engineers. Middle school is an important age to encourage participation in STEM subjects and create science minded citizens. The top 30 finalists will make a great impact—as role models in their communities inspiring younger students to try their hands at independent research projects, and will change the world with their big ideas,” said Maya Ajmera, President and Chief Executive Officer of Society for Science & the Public and Publisher of Science News. “We congratulate the finalists, thank their families, teachers, and science fair directors for their support, and look forward to watching them compete.”

 During the sixth annual Broadcom MASTERS final competition (October 27–November 1), equal number of young men and women will showcase their projects and compete as teams in hands-on STEM activities. The public is invited to view the top 30 projects and meet the finalists on Saturday, October 29th from 1-4pm at a free event at the National Geographic Society. Finalists will enjoy an exciting introduction to the nation’s capital visiting historical sites that celebrate innovation. The week’s activities culminate with an awards dinner on November 1 at the Carnegie Institution for Science.

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

  • $25,000 Samueli Foundation Prize, a gift of Susan and Henry Samueli, Co-Founder of Broadcom Corporation, Chairman of the Broadcom Foundation, and Chief Technical Officer of Broadcom Limited, for the student who demonstrates mastery of all STEM fields, and exemplifies how research, innovation, and teamwork come together to impact our everyday lives.
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Advancement of $20,000, which recognizes the student whose work and performance shows the most promise in health-related fields.
  • $10,000 Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation, awarded to a student that demonstrates prowess in electrical engineering. 
  • $7,500 Lemelson Award for Invention, awarded by The Lemelson Foundation to a young inventor creating promising solutions to real-world problems.
  • First and Second Place Awards issued in each category of STEM will receive $3,500 or $2,500 respectively to use toward a STEM summer camp experience, plus an iPad.
  • Two Rising Stars in sixth or seventh grade will be named as delegates to represent the U.S. at the Broadcom MASTERS International next spring in Los Angeles. Delegates will attend Intel ISEF, the world’s largest international high school science fair in May 2017. 

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. The teacher of the Samueli Foundation Prize winner will receive $1,000 for his or her classroom, courtesy of Deloitte.

Sponsored by Broadcom Foundation, a nonprofit public benefit corporation funded by Broadcom Corporation, the Broadcom MASTERS is a program of Society for Science & the Public. The Society has managed 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 Foundation and SSP. And to stay connected, visit the Broadcom MASTERS and SSP Facebook and Youtube pages.

About Broadcom Foundation

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

The foundation inspires young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through its signature programs, the Broadcom MASTERS® and the Broadcom MASTERS® International, premier science and engineering competitions for middle school students around the United States and the world. Learn more at www.broadcomfoundation.org/masters

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 the 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 Intel 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.  

Society for Science & the Public Press Contact: 
Sarah Wood