MASTERS Alumni Showcase STEM Talent at White House Science Fair

It’s no secret that improving the nation’s rankings in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects has been at the forefront of education reform over the past few years.

President Obama has shown his support for the innovative projects, designs and experiments from students all across the country by inviting them to showcase their work at the White House Science Fair.

Nathan Han at the White House Science Fair.
Nathan Han at the White House Science Fair.

Today, the Fair marks its fifth year running and offered up an inspiring focus on girls and women who are excelling in STEM and inspiring the next generation with their work.

Hosted by President Obama, the event featured the science fair entries students from a broad range of STEM competitions, including cameos from three past participants in the Broadcom MASTERS competition.

“As a society, we have to celebrate outstanding work by young people in science at least as much as we do Super Bowl winners,” Obama told the crowd of students, supporters and media at the 2014 White House Science Fair. “Because superstar biologists and engineers and rocket scientists and robot-builders… they’re what’s going to transform our society. They’re the folks who are going to come up with cures for diseases and new sources of energy, and help us build healthier, more successful societies.” 

President Obama today reaffirmed his support of the “Educate to Innovate” campaign with a slate of more than $240 million in new private-sector commitments “to inspire and prepare more girls and boys – especially those from underrepresented groups – to excel in the STEM fields,” according to a White House statement.

Broadcom MASTERS represent at the 2015 White House Science Fair
Broadcom MASTERS represent at the 2015 White House Science Fair

Broadcom MASTERS once again had a solid representation this year, including alumni of the national competition and Maria Wronski, program manager, community affairs at the Broadcom Foundation.

“It was thrilling to be with our wonderful young innovators in the White House and experience how the power of the Presidency can influence thought-leadership on an issue so important to Broadcom, namely the transformative impact of science and engineering competition on young people,” Wronski said.

Here’s a look at the MASTERS participants who shared their science and engineering research with the President:

  • Nikhil Behari, Sewickley, Penn., presented his project “Latencies, Haptics, & Passwords,” in which he analyzed retail data breaches and experimented with piezoelectric sensors to improve website security with keystroke-based authentication. Nikhil won a second place award in Technology at the 2014 Broadcom MASTERS national finals.
  • Holly Jackson, San Jose, Calif., presented her project “Sewing Science,” which demonstrated why the types of stitching in fabrics matter. She engineered a device to measure the capacity and strength of various combinations of stitches and fabric, and designed experiments and procedures with controlled variables and precise measurements. Holly took home the top award of $25,000 at the 2014 Broadcom MASTERS with a winning project that investigated the ancient art of sewing from an architectural point of view.

Sponsored by Broadcom Foundation, a non-profit public benefit organization funded by Broadcom Corporation, the Broadcom MASTERS is a program of Society for Science & the Public. SSP has been the leader of the world’s most prestigious science competitions for more than seven decades.

“President Obama’s steadfast commitment to middle school science fairs in general, and the Broadcom MASTERS in particular, has been an example for other world leaders that also face the challenge of educating the next generation of innovators,” said Paula Golden, President and Executive Director, Broadcom Foundation and Director, Community Affairs, Broadcom. “We are thrilled that our young MASTERS have been recognized by him again this year.”

Learn more about the exhibitors’ game-changing research at the 2015 White House Science Fair.

For more information on the Broadcom MASTERS, visit the Broadcom Foundation and SSP websites or visit Broadcom Foundation’s Newsroom and read the B-Inspired Blog. To keep up with the Broadcom MASTERS on Twitter, use hashtag #brcmMASTERS or follow Broadcom and SSP. And to stay connected, visit the Broadcom MASTERS and SSP Facebook pages.