Frequently Asked Questions

Overview

The Broadcom MASTERS is the leading science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) competition for sixth, seventh, and eighth graders. Sponsored by the Broadcom Foundation, the Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering for Rising Stars) encourages middle school students to continue their studies in STEM courses throughout high school by igniting a personal passion for science, technology, engineering, math and innovation.
Broadcom MASTERS is a partnership with Society for Science & the Public (SSP). One of the oldest non-profit organizations in the U.S. dedicated to public engagement in science and science education, SSP is a leading advocate for the understanding and appreciation of science and engineering and the vital role they play in human advancement.

SSP manages the program elements for the most prestigious national and international science and engineering fairs in the world, including Broadcom MASTERS and Intel ISEF.

They are separate programs. For the U.S. competition, students can only compete in the Broadcom MASTERS by entering their science projects at state and regional SSP-affiliate fairs. Ten percent of participating middle school students at each fair may be nominated to compete in the Broadcom MASTERS.

Broadcom MASTERS judges select the top 300 semifinalists and narrow them to 30 finalists. Finalists win an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., in the Fall for MASTERS Week to compete for prizes and cash awards, including STEM awards of $5,000, the Marconi/Samueli Prize of $10,000 and the Samueli Foundation Award of $25,000.

For the Broadcom MASTERS International program, judges in approximately 16 participating national fairs around the world select a delegate to attend Broadcom MASTERS International in May. The delegate wins an all-expense paid trip to participate in the Broadcom MASTERS International program, where they will engage in special Broadcom MASTERS events exclusively designed to foster team-building and leadership skills, and also be an official student observer at the Intel Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the largest high school science fair competition in the world. ISEF locations rotate throughout the U.S. in Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Phoenix.

Yes, Broadcom employees’ children are encouraged to compete and may do so as long as their project is not judged by a Broadcom employee. Broadcom employees are also encouraged to volunteer as judges, although they must recuse themselves from judging the project of a child of a fellow employee.

U.S. Competition

For the U.S. competition, nominees must enter their science or engineering project at a regional or state SSP-affiliated science fair. The top 10 percent of the participating middle school students at SSP-affiliated fairs are eligible to be nominated to compete in the Broadcom MASTERS. To find a fair, visit the SSP fair directory. Teachers and parents interested in learning more about the U.S. Broadcom MASTERS should contact SSP.
The 300 Broadcom MASTERS semifinalists are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists and engineers from around the country. Participants are judged on the quality of their project; their ability to identify elements of science, technology, engineering and math in their project; their self-assessment of career opportunities that await them if they stay with math and science; and a narrative about their STEM mentor.
The Society for Science & the Public (SSP) staff engages a panel of distinguished judges who are engineers, scientists and educators throughout the country. In all matters regarding the scores, finalists selected and awards presented, the judges have sole and final decision-making authority.
There are four areas in which finalists will be judged, and they are weighted according to the following:

  • 60 percent of finalists’ scores are based upon his or her individual mastery of science and engineering assessed during the team science portion of the Broadcom MASTERS competition.
  • 25 percent of the scores are based on the presentation of the finalists’ science fair project.
  • 10 percent of scores are based on individual communication, creativity, teamwork and enthusiasm.
  • 5 percent of the score is allotted to the finalist’s team (made up of five student participants), based on teamwork and collaboration throughout the competition.
All semifinalists and their teachers receive prizes from Broadcom Foundation. The 30 finalists will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., or Northern California to showcase their science fair projects and compete in a four-day STEM competition for awards and prizes, including the $25,000 Samueli Foundation Prize and the $10,000 Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation presented by Broadcom Co-Founder, Chairman of the Board and Chief Technical Officer Dr. Henry Samueli, the $20,000 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Advancement, the $7,500 Lemelson Award for Invention, STEM and team awards.
For the U.S competition, students nominated to participate in the Broadcom MASTERS at their regional or state fair must submit their online application by the end of June. Rules for the Broadcom MASTERS International program are established by SSP-affiliate fairs in each country, but the final event for Broadcom MASTERS International is held each May in conjunction with the Intel ISEF.

International

Broadcom MASTERS International delegates are chosen from among participating seventh and eighth grade students by country judges at the national Intel ISEF and SSP-affiliated fairs in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, EU/Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Malyasia, Mexico, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. Rules of competition differ from country to country.