Broadcom Foundation and Society for Science & the Public Announce 2014 Broadcom MASTERS National Science Fair Winners

  • Holly Jackson (age 14) of San Jose, Calif., wins $25,000 Samueli Foundation Prize in honor of overall STEM excellence and for her study on the strength and best application of stiches in sewing
  • Sahar Khashayar (age 14) of Laguna Niguel, Calif. wins $10,000 Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation in recognition of engineering excellence for her project on wildfire early warning systems using computer science
  • 12 top award winners hailing from all over the U.S. including California with six, Pennsylvania with three, and Arkansas, Indiana and Oregon with one winner each

Broadcom Foundation and Society for Science & the Public (SSP) today announced the winners of the 2014 Broadcom MASTERS® national STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) competition for sixth, seventh and eighth graders. Broadcom Foundation and SSP also announced top winners in the categories of Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Rising Stars. Learn more and congratulate the winners of the 2014 Broadcom MASTERS competition at and

“Congratulations to Holly, Sahar and the entire Broadcom MASTERS class of 2014 whose STEM skills and collaborative team spirit represent the critical array of diversified talent needed to innovate solutions to the world’s grand challenges in technology, communications, healthcare, transportation, energy and environmental  sustainability,” said Paula Golden, President and Executive Director, Broadcom Foundation and Director, Community Affairs, Broadcom Corporation. “Through the Broadcom MASTERS, thousands of young people are exploring their personal interests through the rigors of math, applied science and engineering. They are also honing the 21st century skills of critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity that will open the doors to the exciting college and STEM career opportunities that await them.”

The $25,000 Samueli Foundation Prize is a gift of Dr. Henry Samueli, co-founder of Broadcom Corporation, and his wife, Susan Samueli. 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 donation of his 2012 Marconi Society Prize award.

MASTERS winners were chosen from the 30 top finalists (12 girls and 18 boys) from 13 states representing 29 schools. Winners were selected by a panel of distinguished scientists and engineers.

“Society for Science & the Public congratulates Holly Jackson, our top winner at the 2014 Broadcom MASTERS, for her hard work, dedication and success,” said Maya Ajmera, President and Chief Executive Officer of Society for Science & the Public and Publisher of the Science News family of media properties. “Her project, Sewing Science, is a great example of how science is applicable in our everyday lives. We also join with Broadcom in congratulating all of the finalists, and we hope that they will not only continue pursuing their interest in STEM, but also encourage other students to do so.”

Winners Include:

The Samueli Foundation Prize: $25,000
Winner: Holly Jackson, 14, of San Jose, Calif.
Project: Sewing Science

Grand prize winner Holly Jackson has loved to sew since the fourth grade. She has long been fascinated with the idea of testing the strength and the best applications for various stitches. Using different fabrics and threads, Holly decided to test which type of lockstitch, a stitch made from two interlocked threads, would be strongest: straight, stretch, zigzag or three-point zigzag. She found that polyester thread failed, as hypothesized, and that a straight stitch was strongest on average. Holly’s project taught her stitch strength is crucial, and that it is important that a seam is as strong as it can be—especially in devices like parachutes and seat belts where a person’s life may be dependent on the strength of a seam.

She was selected for the Samueli Foundation Prize based on her mastery of STEM principles during the weeklong competition. Holly has exemplified how research and innovation are dependent on the integration of these disciplines as well as the impact they collectively have on everyday life.

Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation: $10,000
Winner: Sahar Khashayar, 14, of Laguna Niguel, Calif.
Project: Wildfire Early Warning System Using Computer Science

Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation winner Sahar Khashayar was inspired to study wildfire detection after hearing about Arizona’s deadly Yarnell Hill fire in 2013. She was moved to explore whether a mix of hardware and software could spot the early signs of a fire better than humans could.  Sahar created a device using temperature and gas sensors, along with an infrared sensor and processor board to detect the three main signatures of fire: heat, smoke and infrared radiation. She also wrote a program to send a warning via Bluetooth® to a smartphone if her detector measured any values suggestive of a fire. She concluded that deploying a network of her $60 early wildfire detection devices could save lives and property.

Sahar was selected based on her vision and promise as an innovator. In the spirit of radio inventor Guglielmo Marconi, she has showed aptitude and skill in applied electrical engineering concepts in her science project and in the STEM challenges throughout the week.

STEM Award Winners:
Each of these finalists (first and second place award winners) were selected for demonstrated skills and promise in each of the disciplines represented by STEM. First place winners are awarded $3,500 and second place winners receive $2,500, in each case to support the finalist’s choice of STEM summer camp experiences offered around the country. Each STEM winner also wins an iPad.

Science Awards:

  • First Place: James Roney, Santa Barbara, Calif., for his project on ant pheromones and food quality.
  • Second place: Daniel Bruce, San Diego, Calif., for his project on the impact of human presence on lagoon birds.

Technology Awards:

  • First place: Aditya Jain, Portland, Ore., for his project on an automated diagnostic tool for lung cancer solitary pulmonary nodules.
  • Second place: Nikhil Behari, Sewickley, Pa., for his project on latencies, haptics and passwords.

Engineering Awards:

  • First place: Chythanya Murali, Little Rock, Ark., for her project on better methods for cleaning up oil spills.
  • Second place: Annika Urban, Pittsburgh, Pa., for her project on stethoscopes that record and transmit breath and chest sounds.

Mathematics Awards:

  • First place: Rajiv Movva, San Jose, Calif., for his project on finding a natural remedy for type 2 diabetics.
  • Second place: Jonathan Okasinski, Harleysville, Pa., for his project on quantum entanglement.

Rising Stars Award:
Each of the Rising Stars win a trip to Intel ISEF, the world’s largest international high school science fair competition, in May 2015 as the United States Delegates to Broadcom MASTERS International, in recognition of their work throughout the Broadcom MASTERS finals.


  • Annie Ostojic, Munster, Ind., for her project on how food could be microwaved more efficiently.
  • Raghav Ganesh, San Jose, Calif., for his project on a new interactive add-on for a white cane for the visually impaired.

Team Award:
The Team Award goes to the team that best demonstrates the ability to work together as a team, solving problems with shared decision making, communication, and scientific and engineering collaboration. Team members receive an iPod Nano.

Winners: White Team

  • Benjamin Chrepta, Rochester, MN
  • Floyd Greenwood, Andover, MA
  • Caroline Edmonds, Fountain Valley, CA
  • Chythanya Murali, Little Rock, AR
  • Aditya Sivakumar, Beaverton, OR

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. 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. SSP 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 SSP 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 SSP. And to stay connected, visit the Broadcom MASTERS and SSP 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

About Broadcom:
Broadcom Corporation (NASDAQ: BRCM), a FORTUNE 500® company, is a global leader and innovator in semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications. Broadcom® products seamlessly deliver voice, video, data and multimedia connectivity in the home, office and mobile environments.  With the industry’s broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art system-on-a-chip solutions, Broadcom is changing the world by Connecting everything®. For more information, go to

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 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

Broadcom®, the pulse logo, Connecting everything®, the Connecting everything logo and Broadcom MASTERS® are among the trademarks of Broadcom Corporation and/or its affiliates in the United States, certain other countries and/or the EU. Any other trademarks or trade names mentioned are the property of their respective owners.

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Broadcom Foundation
Jen Baumgartner
Senior Manager, Corporate Communications

Society for Science & the Public
Sarah Wood
Senior Manager, Communications