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

For the First Time, Competition For Over $100,000 in Awards Will Be Virtual

WASHINGTON, DC – Sept. 16, 2020 – Broadcom Foundation and Society for Science & the Public today announced the 30 finalists in the 10th annual Broadcom MASTERS®, the nation’s premier Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) middle school competition. The finalists will compete in the first ever Virtual Broadcom MASTERS from October 16-October 21 where they will participate in a rigorous virtual competition that leverages 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.

Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering for Rising Stars), a program founded and produced by the Society for Science & the Public, seeks to inspire young scientists, engineers and innovators who will solve the grand challenges of the future. For the first time, the competition will take place virtually in order to keep the finalists and their families safe during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Each of the 30 finalists will participate in online team challenges in addition to being judged on their science research project.

“This year’s 30 Broadcom MASTERS finalists represent young scientists and engineers from every region of the US. Along with thousands of students who competed in the 2020 Broadcom MASTERS, they persevered in the face of many complex challenges brought on by the worldwide pandemic. To their credit, they stayed engaged in STEM in order to pursue their dreams and ambitions,” said Paula Golden, President of Broadcom Foundation. “We look forward to an inspiring competition with our finalists this fall.”

“During these unprecedented times we are living in, science is more important than ever,” said Maya Ajmera, President and CEO of the Society for Science & the Public and Publisher of Science News. “These 30 finalists are scientific and engineering trailblazers. Our future is in good hands.”

2020 Broadcom MASTERS Fast Facts:

  • 47% of the finalists are female (14) and 53% are male (16)
  • Students represent 29 schools, across 16 states
  • Most populous states: eight from California; four from Florida, and two from Michigan, New York, Oregon and Utah.
  • States with one finalist: Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas and Wyoming.
  • Finalists were selected by a panel of distinguished scientists and engineers from 3,476 applicants in 42 states and Puerto Rico.
  • 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:
    • Using machine learning to predict the growth of wildfires and COVID-19
    • Quantifying gerrymandering and creating an algorithm to create fair political districts
    • Using artificial intelligence to sort recycling
    • Determining if turmeric is contaminated with lead chromate
    • Using artificial intelligence to predict diabetic eye diseases

A full list of the finalists can be viewed here:
https://www.societyforscience.org/broadcom-masters/2020-finalists/

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. In 2020, any 6th, 7th, or 8th grade student who registered to compete in a Society-affiliated science fair was eligible to enter the Broadcom MASTERS.

Science fairs across the country had to cancel their competitions in the spring of 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In reaction to the move, the Society and Broadcom Foundation opened up the Broadcom MASTERS competition to any student who registered to compete in a Society-affiliated science fair. Previously, only students who are named in the top 10% of their science fair were eligible to enter the Broadcom MASTERS, which is the only middle school STEM competition that leverages Society-affiliated science fairs as a critical component of the STEM talent pipeline.

By opening up the competition, the Society and Broadcom have ensured equitable access to the Broadcom MASTERS, regardless of where in the country a student may live and whether their fair was affected by the pandemic.

All finalists receive a $500 cash award and will participate in a virtual 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 creating promising solutions to real-world problems.
  • $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.
  • 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 2021 Broadcom MASTERS International next spring. Delegates will participate in 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.

Resources:

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 http://broadcomfoundation.org/ and follow us on Twitter (@BroadcomSTEM).

About Society for Science & the Public

Society for Science & the Public 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 International Science and Engineering Fair, and the Broadcom MASTERS, and its award-winning magazine, 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 and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Snapchat (Society4Science).

Society for Science & the Public Press Contact:
Gayle Kansagor
703-489-1131
Gkansagor@societyforscience.org