Broadcom Co-Founder, Chairman of the Board and Chief Technical Officer Dr. Henry Samueli credits his love of engineering to a seventh grade shop teacher who let him tackle building a Heathkit vacuum-tube short-wave radio.
The teacher’s amazement at his home-built radio was the spark that ignited a brilliant technical career and inspired the non-profit Broadcom Foundation’s mission: To advance science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education by funding research, recognizing scholarship and increasing opportunity.
Across the nation, companies in the private sector are partnering with teachers, policy makers, community stakeholders and non-governmental organizations to provide equal access to affirming STEM experiences. As Dr. Samueli’s story shows, just one unforgettable moment can be the catalyst for a lifetime of achievement.
That was the underlying theme of a recent event held last month by the Chinese American Semiconductor Professional Association (CASPA), a nonprofit group that organized an “Education Day” in Sunnyvale, Calif.
Education Day Kickoff
CASPA gathered students, parents and educators to share thoughts and ideas for helping children gain the confidence and skills to innovate and compete in the 21st Century. CASPA is a leading advocate of STEM learning—including early home experiences and sustained family support throughout the school years.
Along with forums and workshops, the event featured Paula Golden, president and executive director of the Broadcom Foundation and director of community affairs for Broadcom, who introduced the Broadcom MASTERS® program.
Broadcom MASTERS is the Foundation’s flagship science and engineering competition that invites thousands of middle school students to envision their future as a scientist, engineer or innovator.
The winner of the 2014 Broadcom MASTERS Samueli Prize, 14-year-old Holly Jackson of San Jose, Calif., was on hand to share her views on the importance of early participation in science fairs. Her winning research topic came from her passion for sewing, which she pursued as a materials engineer, inventing a device that measures the strength of stitched fabric. She recently won the 2015 regional fair in San Jose with a diagnostic scheme for heart murmurs, having been inspired by her sister who has this condition.
CASPA Gets Hands-On
CASPA’s Education Day featured interactive coding workshops with the Raspberry Pi microcomputer for students from 3rd through 8th grades, and Broadcom’s WICED™ connectivity platform (Wireless Internet Connectivity for Embedded Devices) for high school students. Both of these activities tasked participants with critical thinking, while developing practical skills such as designing a computer program and connecting devices together using Wi-Fi.
While the WICED™ Sense development kit let students pair their smartphone to a sensor tag via Bluetooth Smart to start experimenting with collecting data such as direction, humidity, speed and pressure.
These hands-on activities are designed to inspire students (with the support of their families) to stick with science and math classes and realize the many real-world applications in these areas.