Tapping the Force: The Art of Making Star Wars Illuminates STEAM Careers

Paula Golden in red T-shirt“May the force be with you” is the renowned salute intoned in the 20th century by a Jedi Master on May 25, 1977, when George Lucas first gathered us into his mythological realm in the Galaxy Far-Far-Away. For Star Wars fans all over the world, the phrase has special meanings – and it has personal significance for me as I push “send” to buy advanced tickets to take my grandson to see Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, which debuts in the 21st century this winter.

As a former educator-turned-STEM philanthropist for the Broadcom Foundation, I have long wished to join the conversation about supporting art alongside science, technology, engineering, and math education. In my mind, Star Wars Episode VII provides the perfect catalyst for math, science and art teachers to pull out a copy of […]

By | November 3rd, 2015|

Career Panel Inspires Broadcom MASTERS to “Pursue the Unknown”

‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ is the question most often posed to teenagers.

Career Day McGregor resize Scott McGregor, President and CEO of Broadcom, speaks with a group of Broadcom MASTERS finalists.

At a gathering with STEM professionals from academia to industry, this year’s 30 Broadcom MASTERS finalists took a front row seat to their futures. The Broadcom MASTERS students explored potential career choices, mined for inspiration and took home some valuable lessons from seven panelists.

The panelists, who hailed from positions like CEO, CTO and professor, had something in common with the finalists – they have all participated in a science competition of Society for Science & the Public (SSP). Along with the soon-to-be Broadcom MASTERS alum, that’s a lot of STEM brainpower in one room!

  • Ken Biba, Managing Director and Chief Technical […]
By | November 2nd, 2015|

Tapping Communities to Develop Local Engineering Talent

What if you could open the front door through a sensor in your hand? And when guests come to the door, their photo is sent from the doorstep to your phone so you can identify them? These are the kinds of “Internet of Things” (IoT) technologies that students from under-served communities conceived, designed, built and then socialized in a summer program called ASPIRE/INSPIRE, sponsored by Broadcom Foundation.

ASPIRE/INSPIRE (Aspire to Dream, Inspire to Motivate) seeks high-achieving community college and high school students from underserved communities in southern California who demonstrate a passion for engineering and computer science.

Photo Credit: Matt Miller, Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences Photo Credit: Matt Miller, Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences

The free, two-week project-based engineering and computer science program brought 30 high-achieving high school and community college students from groups underrepresented […]

By | October 13th, 2015|

2015 Broadcom MASTERS® Grand Prize Winner Annie Ostojic Engineers Microwave Efficiency

Annie OstojicIMG_8034 2015 MASTERS Grand Prize Winner Annie Ostojic.

Some science experiments don’t require a big lab, expensive equipment or complex research methodologies to yield high-impact data.

That’s one of the lessons learned by this year’s Broadcom MASTERS® Grand Prize winner: Annie Ostojic, 13, of Munster, Ind., among other important discoveries she’s acquired through an exploration of physics, food science and materials engineering.

MASTERS 2015 group shot Photo Credit: The Society for Science and the Public

View all of the 2015 Broadcom MASTERS winners here.

Ostojic said that as a child, her natural curiosity grew while doing what she described as “kitchen science” with her family.

Inspired by the less-than-appetizing results of an unevenly heated frozen dinner, Ostojic set out to experiment with various types of food, […]

By | October 7th, 2015|

Broadcom MASTERS Practice Teamwork and Perseverance with Help from a “Tech-lebrity”

On the last day of the competition, Broadcom MASTERS finalists convened at the Computer History Museum to collaborate on challenges using a Raspberry Pi microcomputer, a low-cost, credit-card sized computer that taps Broadcom silicon. With a few shrieks and shocked looks, finalists greeted Eben Upton, co-creator of the Raspberry Pi and head of the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

MASTERS 2015 Eben with Red Team Raspberry Pi cofounder Eben Upton with Red Team.

“I really enjoyed meeting the creator of Raspberry Pi because the computer was the main technology in my science project,” said one finalist.

Upton met with each team, sharing his experiences, providing tips on coding and encouraging each finalist to follow his or her passion.

“We started Raspberry Pi to solve a local problem – the collapse in students wanting to study computer programming,” Upton, a U.K.-based technical director for […]

By | October 6th, 2015|

Broadcom MASTERS 2015: Opening Competition Events Make for a Weekend Whirlwind

Upon arriving in San Jose, Calif., the 30 Broadcom MASTERS finalists (all middle school aged aspiring scientists and engineers) had little time to be think as they met their new team members and competed in ice breaker challenges such as Lego building, a giant Jenga game and a brainteaser about tying a rope together, all of which forced them to communicate and problem solve.

Collaboration, communication and teamwork will be stressed throughout the competition. “In the Broadcom MASTERS, it is important that members of a team quickly learn the strengths of each individual member and how they can efficiently and creatively tap into their collective talents to solve problems,” said Paula Golden, President of the Broadcom Foundation and Director, Community Affairs, Broadcom. “Collaborating together to engage in critical thinking, communication and creativity are the 21st century skills young people need to succeed as scientists and engineers – and in life.”

By | October 5th, 2015|

2015 Broadcom MASTERS® Finalists Set to Impact the Engineering Grand Challenges of Our Time

As we look back on five years of the Broadcom MASTERS, we can’t help but be awestruck by the talent, passion and ambition thousands of MASTERS competitors have to face big issues impacting the world today.

The National Academy of Engineering has defined 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering in the 21st Century in categories such as health, joy of living, sustainability and security.  As innovative technologies opened access to information and design tools, there are endless ways to innovate and engineer solutions to modern problems.  That’s what our 2015 finalists are doing at the Broadcom MASTERS, the nation’s leading science and engineering fair at the middle school level.

Meet the 2015 Broadcom MASTERS finalists Meet the 2015 Broadcom MASTERS finalists

Representing the best of the best among tens of thousands of competitors at from regional and state […]

By | October 2nd, 2015|

Broadcom MASTERS® – Five Years of Mastering Science and Engineering in Middle School

October 1st marks the fifth year of our sponsorship of the Broadcom MASTERS, the nation’s leading science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competition for middle school students.

As Broadcom Foundation and Society for Science and the Public prepare for the 30 national finalists to congregate in Silicon Valley for the competition, it is a great time to reflect on how 120 Broadcom MASTERS alumni and over 50 Broadcom MASTERS International delegates are continuing to enhance their mastery of STEM.

The Broadcom MASTERS, an elite corps of winners among 75,000 nominees and 10,000 applicants in the U.S. and 13 international competitions in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, South America, South Africa and Australia, have gone on to do incredible things in science and engineering, in high school, university, unique internships, STEM camps and world-renowned competitions.

In 2014 alone, Broadcom MASTERS alumni have risen as champions of the […]

By | September 29th, 2015|

Broadcom Israel Inspires Young Women to Stick with STEM

Girls Israel 2015 2 Resize At MadaTech, participants build a feeding device for a dog

More than 50 Broadcom volunteers in Israel are taking their successful STEM volunteering program one step further by focusing on an at-risk demographic – young women.

It’s no secret that women in engineering are poorly represented. In the U.S., women make up only 12 percent of working engineers, based on statistics from the AAUW in 2013. The numbers are higher in Israel, at about 35 percent, according to 2013 data from the Central Bureau of Statistics, but that’s still far from ideal.

Broadcom volunteers in Israel are seeking to change this by focusing on young women in middle school. It’s a particularly critical age where many female students who are at the critical stage where they will decide to continue down a science and technology […]

By | September 16th, 2015|

Community Hero: Amrutha Sreekantapuram Connects with Students in Bangalore

Editor’s Note: Broadcom Community Heroes  recognizes civic engagement and volunteerism by Broadcom employees around the globe, who may nominate themselves or their colleagues for recognition under guidelines set forth by Broadcom Foundation. The Community Engagement Committee honors these employees with a $500 gift in their honor from a list of qualifying charities. In this series on the blog, we’ll profile each Community Hero to share stories about their interests and work benefiting their communities around the world.

For Amrutha Sreekantapuram, a Senior Engineer in IC Design in Bangalore, India, volunteerism has always been a natural gateway to remain engaged within the community. Sreekantapuram is a firm believer in working for a grass roots cause, which is why she invests her free time to the Project LOTUS initiative. Project LOTUS (Linking Organization To Underprivileged Schools) is a  program that focuses on providing quality education for students living in […]

By | September 9th, 2015|

Meet the Broadcom MASTERS® — 30 Finalists Take on Silicon Valley for the First Time

This year’s cohort of Broadcom MASTERS finalists are already proving that they are unafraid to march into their future as STEM leaders.

From designing hydraulic solar panels and safer headgear for soccer to engineering water conservation devices, these middle school MASTERS are already working on important societal challenges.

Selected from a national pool of 300 semifinalists, this elite group of thirty finalists are ready to compete in Silicon Valley next month where they will vie for cash and other awards.

Finalists from the 2014 Broadcom MASTERS work on a team competition Finalists from the 2014 Broadcom MASTERS work on a team competition

The 2015 Broadcom MASTERS will face off in a series of team challenges that test their acumen in STEM skills as well as their 21st century skills: How well do they demonstrate critical thinking, foster collaboration and communicate their goals? How do […]

By | September 2nd, 2015|

300 of the Best and Brightest: Broadcom MASTERS Semifinalists Unveiled

App MASTERS Resized Finalists from Broadcom MASTERS 2014 work on a team competition.

What sparks a student to stay with STEM?

Perhaps it’s the urge to explore, the quest to discover something new or to find an answer to an entirely novel question. For others, maybe it’s pursuing enthusiasm for a hobby or activity that deepens when tested with the scientific method. For others, it’s the chance to prove that he or she can figure out a solution to an important social or environmental challenge.

Take, for example, this year’s crop of semifinalists’ projects for the 5th annual Broadcom MASTERS, the nation’s most prestigious STEM competition for middle school students. Topics ranged from computer science and engineering to health and behavioral sciences. Students submitted projects that entitled: “Honey, I Found A Cure! Nature’s Healing Agent/Anti-Inflammatory,” “Communication Protocol: Self-driving Vehicles at Intersections,” and […]

By | August 19th, 2015|

Community Hero: Manan Patel Pays it Forward to Students

Editor’s Note: Broadcom Community Heroes  recognizes civic engagement and volunteerism by Broadcom employees around the globe, who may nominate themselves or their colleagues for recognition under guidelines set forth by Broadcom Foundation. The Community Engagement Committee honors these employees with a $500 gift in their honor from a list of qualifying charities. In this series on the blog, we’ll profile each Community Hero to share stories about their interests and work benefiting their communities around the world.

Actively serving BAPS charities for seven years and counting, Manan Patel, a software development engineer in San Diego, remembers last year’s acts of volunteerism at BAPS first annual Walkathon. The proceeds from that event supported several initiatives including MAP Foundation for Academic Success, which is an organization that funds college scholarships for Escondido Union High School. Beyond Manan’s dedication to BAPS, he is a pioneer for […]

By | August 10th, 2015|

Raspberry Pi Workshops Go Global with Broadcom Foundation

Gordon Lindsay, Broadcom's Director of Field Apps Engineering, Gordon Lindsay, Broadcom’s Director of Field Apps Engineering, introduces the Raspberry Pi and coding to 35 students near Cape Town.

“Fruit” names tend to signify a fresh concept in computing. In fact, fruit-based names seem to leave a legacy in the history of computing. From Apple to Blackberry and now to Raspberry Pi — a low cost, credit-card sized computer that opens the door for kids around the world to explore computing.

Created by Broadcom Technical Director Eben Upton, who was concerned that his students at Cambridge University did not have basic coding skills that he developed by “hacking around” on computers as a youth, the Rapsberry Pi computer is designed to be cheap (for every wallet from Louisana to Mozambique), cute (in a geeky sort of way) and […]

By | August 5th, 2015|

Broadcom MASTERS® Alumni Experience a New Twist on MacGyver: A Female Engineer

The original “MacGyver” television show has launched many engineering careers including that of Broadcom Associate Technical Director, David Garrett, who was 15 years old when he first started watching the series.

Like protagonist Angus MacGyver, a spy who used his smarts to problem solve, Garrett said he “loved the fact that MacGyver was ‘engineering’ his way out of trouble.

“I have solved many problems with duct tape and a Swiss Army knife since then,” he said.

Now the producer of “MacGyver,” Lee Zlotoff, together with the Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California and the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) are looking for a modern-day female MacGyver to inspire the next generation of engineers.

"The Next MacGyver" competition finalists “The Next MacGyver” competition finalists

“It is thrilling to see an iconic show like ‘MacGyver’ be remastered […]

By | July 31st, 2015|

KKT Workshop Connects University Students from Top Engineering Schools in Asia

KKT2015_Logo

Now in its 11th year, a unique, student organized academic consortium takes place this week in Daejeon, Korea. The KKT Workshop, sponsored by the Broadcom Foundation brings together the brightest students from Korea’s Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Japan’s Keio University and China’s Tsinghua University, all of which boost the most prominent microelectronics engineering programs in Asia. A three-day forum with more than 50 participants, KKT Workshop includes poster sessions, lectures, panel discussions and exhibitions. Students will tour historical landmarks and visit local semiconductor companies including Samsung.

Originating in 2004, KKT Workshop is the brainchild of three world renowned academicians in the field of networking and mixed signal technology – Professor Hoi-Jun Yoo of KAIST, Professor Tadahiro Kuroda of Keio and Professor Zhihua Wang of Tsinghua University. With the goal to create true collaborative synergies […]

By | July 29th, 2015|

Broadcom Volunteers Unite to Tackle World Hunger

One in three people in developing countries suffer from malnutrition including vitamin and mineral deficiencies – a staggering statistic that underscores the enormity of world hunger problem throughout the globe. The problem worsens when natural disasters like the Nepal Earthquakes strike, which result in lack of food and water.

The Broadcom Foundation is helping fight global hunger through a partnership with an international nonprofit Stop Hunger Now, that gives Broadcom employees a way to take action. Since 2012, employees have been teaming up at Broadcom offices to pack highly nutritious meals that include locally grown rice and spices, protein such as soy or dal and a packet of 23 essential vitamins and minerals for distribution to a family of four through local schools and community programs in a region of need.

Broadcom employees in Irvine, California package meals with Stop Hunger Now.

By | July 27th, 2015|

After School Programs Give Kids Success for Tools

Broadcom employees in Israel help students with a science project after school Broadcom employees in Israel help students with a science project after school

I believe that after school programs create a critical safety net for kids that don’t have one and help them acquire success skills that are more readily attainable by other children. Thus it has been especially heartwarming that the Broadcom Foundation has sought out after school programs as important partners to fulfill its stated goal of closing the STEM education gap for women and minorities and inspiring volunteerism by Broadcom employees where they live and work.

We know many kids love to compete; so the Broadcom Foundation set out to help after school kids learn the skills they will need to compete for STEM jobs in the communities where they live near Broadcom offices. In addition to […]

By | July 17th, 2015|

Broadcom Presents: Design_CODE_Build Finds STEM in Every Career

Engineer, astronaut, athlete, politician or fashion designer. While these may seem like unrelated career paths, young people may be surprised to know that the fundamental skills needed to design their own fashion line are more similar than they might think to those needed to traverse the outer regions of the solar system.

Whether it’s running for political office or pitching the perfect game, a program called Broadcom Presents: Design_CODE_Build encourages middle school students to explore their own passions through the lens of science technology, engineering, math (STEM).  Students engage in hands-on activities that require collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and communication—skills that are crucial in academic study, the workplace and all aspects of life. Design_Build_Code Logo

To develop these skills, Kate McGregor, education programs consultant, community programs, at the Computer History Museum, developed a day-long curriculum designed to help students […]

By | July 15th, 2015|

“Connecting the Dots” for STEM Students in Orange County

When educators come together, they “connect the dots” for students.

It’s a phrase that’s key to helping retain students’ interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), subjects, areas where the U.S. has been seen as lagging.OCSTEM Ecosystem July 2015 Crowd Paula resized

Community influencers in the public and private sectors —  including Broadcom Foundation — have taken up the challenge of providing educators with tools that will help students maintain interest in STEM from grade school through high school.

As part of a year-long program to build a STEM tool kit that includes integration of after-school learning, more than 100 teachers and administrators from nine Orange County school districts gathered together for a day-long workshop last week.  They experienced hands-on coding with the iconic Raspberry Pi credit card-sized computer, and got a sneak-peek at how engineering careers at […]

By | July 13th, 2015|
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