Broadcom MASTERS Announces 2015 National Middle School STEM Competition Winners

13 Year Old Annie Ostojic Wins Samueli Prize for STEM Leadership and Innovation in the Design of a More Energy Efficient Microwave

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., – October 6, 2015 –

  • Annie Ostojic (age 13) of Munster, Ind., wins $25,000 Samueli Foundation Prize for her STEM knowledge and ability to collaborate, inspire and motivate others as a natural leader
  • Sebastian Mellen (age 14) of San Diego, Calif., wins $10,000 Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation based on his aptitude and skill in technical and mathematical concepts while demonstrating superior teamwork
  • 12 top award winners hailing from all over the U.S., including California with 4, Florida with 2, and Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, and Texas with one winner each

Broadcom Foundation and Society for Science & the Public (SSP) today announced the top winners of the fifth annual Broadcom MASTERS® national STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) competition for sixth, seventh and eighth graders. Broadcom Foundation and SSP also announced first and second place winners in each of the STEM categories, Rising Stars, and a Team Award. In addition, students elected their class speaker, the first recipient of the Scott A. McGregor Leadership Award, honoring Broadcom’s President and CEO who has championed sponsorship of the program since 2010.

“Now in its fifth year, the Broadcom MASTERS has hit its stride as a competition that draws upon increasing numbers of passionate and talented young people who are eager to partake in a program that helps them grow as scientists, engineers and innovators. More importantly, it provides them with new skills to tackle future challenges, as exemplified by our top winners Annie Ostojic and Sebastian Mellen,” said Paula Golden, President and Executive Director, Broadcom Foundation and Director, Community Affairs, Broadcom Corporation.  “As we have seen with our Broadcom MASTERS alumni who are entering college as freshman this year, our finalists have exciting futures ahead of 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 generous donation of his 2012 Marconi Society Prize award.

Broadcom MASTERS winners were chosen from the 30 top finalists (14 girls and 16 boys) from 14 states representing 29 schools. Winners were selected by a panel of distinguished scientists and engineers.

“Society for Science & the Public congratulates Annie Ostojic, our top winner at the 2015 Broadcom MASTERS,” said Maya Ajmera, President and Chief Executive Officer of Society for Science & the Public and Publisher of Science News. “Last year, Annie was selected as a Rising Star and this year she impressed the judges even more with her knowledge of STEM, her leadership skills, and her project on optimizing energy efficiency inside a microwave. We look forward to seeing where her interest in STEM takes her, and the rest of the finalists, next.”

Winners Include:

The Samueli Foundation Prize: $25,000
Winner: Annie Ostojic, 13, of Munster, Ind.
Project: A Novel Microwave Cavity Design Using Cylindrical Parabolic Reflectors to Optimize Energy Efficiency

Grand prize winner Annie Ostojic was awarded the Samueli Foundation Prize for her mastery of STEM principles and team leadership demonstrated throughout the rigorous weeklong competition. Her science fair project expanded upon knowledge she accumulated in prior competitions in order to apply science and engineering to innovating a more energy efficient microwave design. Ostojic performed complex experiments and designed prototypes to achieve the next level of creative solutions for environmentally friendly microwave cooking.

A three time Broadcom MASTERS participant, Ostojic won the Rising Star award as a 2014 Broadcom MASTERS finalist and represented the United States as one of 24 delegates from 14 countries at Broadcom MASTERS International this year. Ostojic competed against more than 2,200 entrants to return as a finalist of the 2015 Broadcom MASTERS.

Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation: $10,000
Winner: Sebastian Mellen, 14, of San Diego, Calif.
Project: MathSuite: An Innovative Android App that Makes Dreaded Calculations FUN! Published on Google Play!

Sebastian Mellen 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.

Mellen was inspired by teachers who struggle with grading students’ self-written examinations and classmates who wrestle with math and physics homework. To make their lives easier, Mellen applied his math and engineering acumen to design and develop an Android app for smartphones that can do a broad range of algebra calculations that are routinely used in math, physics and other sciences.

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 Award:

  • First Place: Maximilian Du, Manlius, N.Y., for his project on a new method to measure and extract caffeine from drinks.
  • Second place: Hannah O. Cevasco, San Carlos, Calif., for her research on the healing properties of honey.

Technology Award:

  • First place: Manasa (Hari) Bhimaraju, Cupertino, Calif., for her project on a low-cost animated teaching tool for the study of elements in the periodic table with an interface for the visually impaired.
  • Second place: Anusha Zaman, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for her project on the potential health effects of betel use.

Engineering Award:

  • First place: Avery P. Clowes, Bolton, Mass., for his project on an electrostatic generator.
  • Second place: Soyoun Choi, Melbourne, Florida, for her project on the effect of bilingualism on cognitive development in adolescents.

Mathematics Award:

  • First place: David Yue, Plano, Texas for his project on 3-D x-ray reconstruction processing and its application to cancer prevention.
  • Second place: Madison A. Toonder, St. Augustine, Fla., for her project on the study on the effect of sunblock nanoparticles on oysters’ ability to filter bay water.

Rising Stars Award:
Each of the Rising Stars wins a trip to Intel ISEF, the world’s largest international high school science fair competition, in May 2016 as the United States delegate to Broadcom MASTERS International, in recognition of their work throughout the Broadcom MASTERS finals.


  • Evelyn Bodoni, Centennial, Colo., for her project on the prevalence and reasons for student cheating.
  • Anish Singhani, San Ramon, Calif., for his project on an electronic system that lets a person use brain waves to control devices, such as a wheelchair and computer keyboard.

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: Glenn Grimmett, Elizabeth Kinsey, Naya Menezes, Anish Singhani, David Yue

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

  • Winner: Avery P. Clowes, Bolton, Mass.

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. 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 one of 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

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Broadcom Foundation
Dana Orsini

Society for Science & the Public
Sarah Wood