STEM Competition

Broadcom Foundation Announces Middle School STEM Competition Semifinalists

The Broadcom Foundation and the Society for Science & the Public have selected 300 semifinalists in the sixth annual Broadcom MASTERS — a prestigious science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competition for middle school students.

Semifinalists represent 37 states, including 54 semifinalists from California, 41 from Florida, 28 from Texas, 17 from New York and 16 from Pennsylvania.

Thirty finalists will be named Sept. 20, and the competition is scheduled for Oct. 27-Nov. 2. The top winner will receive the Samueli Prize of $25,000. More girls than boys are among the top 300 semifinalists.

The Broadcom MASTERS (math, applied science, technology and engineering for rising stars) rewards sixth, seventh and eighth grade students who develop projects in science or engineering at 300 regional and state science fairs. As the students apply project-based learning to the scientific method and the engineering process through hands-on challenges and competitions, they learn critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity — all important 21st century skills.

“Broadcom MASTERS inspires middle school students from all walks of life to envision their future as scientists, engineers and innovators,” said Paula Golden, president of the Broadcom Foundation, in a prepared statement. “We are delighted to see growing interest in STEM fields among both girls and boys.”

Semifinalists’ independent research projects include a broad range of topics, such as:

  • A wearable therapeutic device with Bluetooth for elderly sarcopenia patents and caregivers;
  • Cryptic cryptocurrency: a statistical analysis of possible factors driving the value of Bitcoin;
  • OpenRoad: a cost efficient solution to drowsy driving;
  • Bloodstain pattern analysis: accuracy of the point of origin calculation;
  • Did juvenile spinosaurids spend time in the ocean? and
  • Reducing adolescent stress via predictive machine learning models.

Semifinalists were selected from more than 6,000 nominees and 2,434 applicants. Each application received three independent readings and evaluations by distinguished scientists, engineers and educators, according to a news release.

Nominees qualified to enter the Broadcom MASTERS by placing among the top 10 percent of the participants at their society-affiliated science fairs.

The Broadcom Foundation is a nonprofit public benefit corporation funded by the for-profit company Broadcom Limited, which makes semiconductors.

About the Author

Richard Chang is associate editor of THE Journal. He can be reached at [email protected].