Ready, Set, STEM: MASTERS 2014 Finalists Revealed

Each year, Broadcom Foundation and Society for Science & the Public issue a challenge to middle-school students throughout America: to dive into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) subjects with an outstanding science fair project.

Students from across the country are answering the call. This year, Broadcom Foundation tallied a record number of applications for the Broadcom MASTERS science and engineering competition, with 2,054 young scientists and engineers vying for a shot at the $25,000 grand prize next month.

Today, the selection panel has named the top 30 applicants.

See the list of 2014 MASTERS finalists.

And now this group of finalists, who tackled topics as far-ranging as home made robotics to greener laundry, are prepping to participate in a week-long competition of group activities and sight-seeing as part of an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.

Broadcom Masters in Washington, D.C.
The 2013 MASTERS at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

The 30 represent 27 cities from thirteen states and attend public, private and home schools. Read more in the press release.

The sixth, seventh and eighth grade participants impressed with the breadth and complexity of their science and engineering experiments. They delve into a variety of topics, ranging from automotive technology (Alden Giedraitis’s “Project A.I.P: An Introduction to Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Navigation”) – to medicine (Arnob Das’s “A Novel Biocompatible Medical Implant Material”) and theoretical physics (Jonathan Okasinki’s “To See or Not to See: A Foray into DIY Quantum Entanglement”).

Many of the finalists are already fulfilling the higher calling of STEM – innovating to solve the world’s Grand Challenges by using their impressive science and engineering skills.

Ganesh Raghav looks to improve the quality of life for the disabled with his project, “A Low Cost, Adoptable, User Tested Add-on Device for the White Cane Facilitating Safer Mobility of the Visually Impaired.”  Talar Terzian studied sustainable appliances in her project, “Churn It Up: Off-the-Grid Laundry Agitators.” And Katherine Wu focused on highway safety with her project, “A Driver’s Companion: Using EEG Waves and Eye Blinks to Prevent Drowsy Driving.”

While in the nation’s capital, the 30 finalists will participate in rigorous competitions that are designed to not only test the student’s STEM knowledge, but also their team-building, critical thinking and communication skills.

In addition to the competition activities, the finalists will also get to tour D.C.-area attractions and visit Capitol Hill. They will present their science fair projects to the public, where they will gain valuable experience explaining their research methodologies and defending their findings — important skills they will apply every day in their future STEM careers.

Last year, the top honor was awarded to River Grace of West Melbourne, Fla., who donated part of his winnings to a habitat for endangered turtles, the subjects of his winning research project.

Follow coverage of the finalists’ trip to Washington, D.C., on Broadcom’s Facebook and Twitter, and Society for Science and the Public’s Facebook and Twitter. Winners are set to be announced October 28th during an awards ceremony that will feature Broadcom Technical Director and Raspberry Pi inventor Eben Upton as keynote speaker.