Global MASTERS® International Delegates Collaborate, Innovate and Inspire

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Perhaps the same can be said for raising a scientist, mathematician or engineer.

It’s that same collaborative spirit that drives Broadcom Foundation’s flagship science and engineering competition, Broadcom MASTERS® International.

As the Foundation prepares to welcome another MASTERS International delegation to Pittsburgh this week, the program continues its tradition of bringing together students who have shown exceptional promise in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) at their home countries’ science fair competitions.

Mana Masui, 14, discovered that plasmodium of Myxomycetes (which can subdivide and fuse with another) recognizes "self" and "non-self" when touching the extracellular slime of another plasmodium.
Mana Masui, 14, of Japan, discovered that plasmodium of Myxomycetes (which can subdivide and fuse with another) recognizes “self” and “non-self” when touching the extracellular slime of another plasmodium.

Now in its fourth year, the MASTERS International provides a rare opportunity for early collaboration between middle school scientists and engineers from around the world.

“As a company with offices around the world, our economic future rests on the strength of STEM education and the powerful commitment from young people like our International MASTERS delegates,” Broadcom President and Chief Executive Officer Scott McGregor said.

Over the past year, Broadcom Foundation expanded international STEM programs that complement project-based learning promoted through the Broadcom MASTERS. The Foundation is supporting a pilot project in South Africa using Raspberry Pi microcomputers to teach coding to students at the Communiversity of South Africa in Cape Town with the goal of providing these young people with essential skills for 21st century jobs. In Singapore, Broadcom engineers are  partnering with the Ministry of Education and local schools to organize Raspberry Pi workshops; with plans for similar initiatives underway in Israel.

Rafael “Rafa” Brustolin, 14, of Bom Principio, Brazil, created an educational game to help elementary school students learn tough subjects faster and easier.
Rafael “Rafa” Brustolin, 14, of Brazil, created an educational game to help elementary school students learn tough subjects faster and easier.

That’s in addition to its yearly mission of bringing a cohort of science fair winners from 16 countries to experience ISEF, one of the country’s top science fairs. The delegates will also engage in hands-on learning and tour local sites, including Carnegie Mellon University, the Heinz History Center, the Phipps Conservatory and other spots of interest.

“The goal is to create a global cohort of future leaders who have developed shared intellectual pursuits and common goals for their generation,” said Paula Golden, president and executive director of Broadcom Foundation and director of community affairs at Broadcom. “We hope they will return to their countries armed with a new perspective and an urgency to address STEM challenges.”

This year, Broadcom MASTERS delegates hail from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, EU, India, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. Two finalists from the U.S. Broadcom MASTERS competition are also chosen as delegates to the international program.

Here’s a snapshot of the 2015 cohort of MASTERS International delegates and their areas of research:

Daniel Petrus Steyn, 14, looked for mathematical patterns between musical notes, frequencies, overtones and string lengths.
Daniel Petrus Steyn, 14, of South Africa, looked for mathematical patterns between musical notes, frequencies, overtones and string lengths.
  • Australia: Sarah Leatherbarrow, 14, studied the effectiveness of different types of sunscreens.
  • Brazil: Rafael “Rafa” Brustolin, 14, created an educational game to help elementary school students learn tough subjects faster and easier.
  • Canada: Isabella O’Brien, 13, studied the possibility of buffering ocean acidification through the addition of alkaline-based recycled shells to seawater.
  • China: Jacqueline Wang, 13, studied the effect of an “instant” jelly (gelatin hydrolyzate) on the gel strength of gelatin-based materials such as transparent paint. Cannan Wong, 12, engineered a device to assist with the task of remembering. James Yang, 13, of Zhengzhou, China worked with mathematical models to better assess and improve the fitting accuracy of concrete.
  • Czech Republic: Kristyna Bednarova, 13, sought to make subjects such as math, physics and English more fun for elementary school students through the creation of a computer program.
  • India: Shivarama Bolunjadka, 14, created a bark-based ointment and spray for dog dermatitis. Harsh Kumar, 14, created a simple wind-powered charger for a mobile phone. Saad Nasser, 13, created plans for a reusable launch vehicle to be used in the deployment of spacecraft.
  • Ireland: Adam Barry, 13, built an interactive dashboard that provides configurable widgets that display statistics for better supervision of call center labor.
  • Israel: Illay Pecker, 13, studied the effects of various environmental conditions on Spirulina growth. Ori Shaham, 12, created an eye dropper bottle with a concave mirror for easier application of the solution.
  • Japan: Mana Masui, 14, discovered that plasmodium of Myxomycetes (which can subdivide and fuse with another) recognizes “self” and “non-self” when touching the extracellular slime of another plasmodium.
  • Mexico: Julian Ceballos Leyva, 13, developed a chromatography inspired method for separating solutions and colors.
  • Singapore: Phoebe Chew Tingyu, 14, studied whether red cabbages could be used as an environmental friendly pH indicator.
  • South Africa: Daniel Petrus Steyn, 14, looked for mathematical patterns between musical notes, frequencies, overtones and string lengths.
  • South Korea: Deun Sol Lee, 14, developed a program that makes coding easy and helps others connect to the programming world.
  • Taiwan: Henry Kuo, 14, examined whether group decision making in mosquito fish leads to an increased chance of survival.
  • United Kingdom: Jack Pollock, 14, worked with his STEM club and Southampton University to launch a balloon outfitted with a camera to monitor the stratosphere
  • United States: Kianah Blakely-White, 14, created a shoe insert designed to increase speed in sprinters. Kianah used software modeling to design the foam cutout. Tiara Easley, 13, studied how fats, dyes, and preservatives can make some snack foods addictive to children. Raghav Ganesh, 13, created an electronic attachment to a walking cane for the visually challenged that communicates with its user through haptic feedback for increased awareness. Annie Ostojic, 13, designed a container for energy efficient microwavable use. Food in the container cooks more easily with less energy consumption.

Stay tuned for more photos and blogs from this year’s MASTERS International programming and follow the action on Facebook and on Twitter @BroadcomSTEM.