A Three-Time MASTERS® Alum Shares Her Continuing Love of STEM

Carolyn Jons MASTERS
Carolyn Jons

Inspiring students to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education that will lead to exciting careers is one of Broadcom Foundation’s most important goals. To foster life-long interest in science, math and engineering, today’s educators know that capturing a student’s imagination by middle school is critical to solidifying their commitment to essential STEM courses in high school.

Take Carolyn Jons, 16, who penned the letter below to the Broadcom Foundation. A Minnesota native, Carolyn was a two-time Broadcom MASTERS finalist, a Broadcom MASTERS International delegate and most recently, an ISEF award winner.

Here’s her story:  At the age of twelve, at a time when statistics show that social pressures and lack of encouragement cause many girls to disconnect from their budding interests in math, science or engineering, Carolyn was inspired by the Broadcom MASTERS. She pursued STEM through high school and is on track to for an extraordinary career as a young scientist.  Moving from early projects studied the insulating capacity of soap bubbles on a water surface, Carolyn’s explorations lead to studying the effect of oxygen removal on mold growth on blueberries. Today, she is a wonderful role model for young women, inspiring them to stay with STEM.

Carolyn’s letter shared the excitement she feels as a pioneering young scientist and how the Broadcom MASTERS helped to nurture her enthusiasm. Sharing her letter makes me so proud of what we at Broadcom are doing to support and mentor young women in STEM fields through volunteerism, our Broadcom Women’s Network and the Broadcom MASTERS.

Dear Ms. Golden,

This year, I presented my science fair project at the Intel ISEF in Washington, D.C. There I received a 1st place award in chemistry at the Grand Award Ceremony. As I look back at my science fair experience, I realize my middle school science fair years were truly influential. I am writing to share with you how influential the Broadcom MASTERS program has been in my life.

I was fortunate enough to be selected as a Broadcom MASTERS finalist the first two years of the competition. As I favorably look back at the two weeks I spent in Washington, D.C., I realize how much this program has influenced my current life and my future career. It was at Broadcom MASTERS that I first realized that science was really fun. I realized that science was so much more than what was taught in my textbook, and that through science people could change their world. I recognized that I wanted to someday pursue a career in STEM.

Since that time, I have chosen to take many honors and AP (advanced placement) level science courses, join FIRST Robotics, and start a science bowl team. Just last week, I was in Washington, D.C., talking to senators and representatives, to lobby for increased STEM funding in schools. And of course, since Broadcom MASTERS, I have done a new science fair project each year.

Carolyn Jon 2As I go to each of my science fairs, Broadcom MASTERS comes with me. At my regional science fair, I have started presenting the “Bright Future Award” to a middle school student whom I found exceptional. My hope is to inspire a middle school student in the same way that the Broadcom MASTERS program inspired me to continue in science fair. Also, although rather corny, before each of my science fair presentations I wear my lucky green Broadcom MASTERS shirt to bed. So far, the luck has been working. In addition, this year I used a Broadcom notebook as my laboratory notebook. I received a black Broadcom notebook after winning the “Rising Star” award at the first Broadcom MASTERS competition. I waited to use this notebook until I had a project that I thought was deserving of such a fancy notebook. I am hoping that it might be possible to acquire another one of these notebooks for my project next year. In case this is possible, I have attached a picture of the current notebook.

Overall, I would like to thank you and Broadcom Foundation for truly inspiring me to make science a part of my life. I know that I would not be where I am today if not for the Broadcom MASTERS program. I do hope that Broadcom continues this program for many years as it really alters the paths of the student who participate in this program.

With deep appreciation,

Carolyn Jons

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 with science and math through high school.