Benjamin Hylak of West Grove, Pa., and finalist in the inaugural Broadcom MASTERS competition, met President Obama as a participant in the White House Science Fair in Washington, D.C. on February 7.
He joined other winners from national science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competitions nationwide including Broadcom MASTERS finalist Coleman Kendrick, 14, of Los Alamos, NM.
Hylak, 14, was recognized for his work as a Broadcom MASTER (Math, Applied Science, Technology, and Engineering for Rising Stars), a national STEM competition for sixth, seventh and eighth graders sponsored by the Broadcom Foundation.
“Congratulations to Benjamin Hylak for his incredible achievements first as a Broadcom MASTER and now as a White House Science Fair participant,” said Paula Golden, Executive Director, Broadcom Foundation. “It is inspiring to see a student so young with such a dedication and passion for engineering and science. We are honored that Benjamin and his fellow Broadcom MASTER Coleman Kendrick could represent us at the White House today.”
Hylak demonstrated his Broadcom MASTERS project on telepresence robots, which earned him $10,000 in prize money at the MASTERS competition in October 2011. He was inspired to study robots by visiting his grandmother who lives in a senior residence facility. He noticed that some of her fellow residents had few or no visitors. Hylak wanted to find a new way for residents to connect with family and friends and built an interactive robot through which people could virtually visit their loved ones at the facility.
President Obama specifically referenced Hylak’s achievements in his remarks following the science fair, stating that projects like his “could make life better for millions of families.”
Hylak was joined at the White House Science Fair by Broadcom’s Golden and Elizabeth Marincola, President of Society for Science & the Public, an organization that runs some of the world’s most prestigious science competitions, including the Broadcom MASTERS.
Read the official White House Press Office announcement on the science fair. Check out more coverage on the Science Fair in the New York Times. Find out more about the Broadcom MASTERS program. Watch this tribute video produced by Benjamin’s family.