A teenage boy’s instinctive love for souped-up cars often leads to a career working under-the-hood. But for 14-year-old Raymond Gilmartin of South Pasadena, Calif., an inquisitive curiosity about automotive design could be sending him down a path toward an engineering career instead.
At an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., tonight, Raymond was named the Grand Prize winner of the 2012 Broadcom MASTERS® science fair competition. It was his interest in automotive design and the curiosity around rear spoilers that elevated Raymond to the winner’s circle. He conducted experiments to determine that rear spoilers could, in fact, impact the drag and lift in sport utility vehicles and, ultimately, affect gas mileage, carbon emissions and even climate change.
It’s these sorts of projects – and the recognition of the hard work that goes into them – that stokes young students’ passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) topics and keeps them engaged through high school and beyond. Raymond also earned the award for his excellence in STEM activities throughout the competition week.
Also honored tonight was Jessika Baral, 13, of Fremont, Calif., who won the inaugural $10,000 Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation for her project, titled “A Novel Way to Strengthen Eye Muscles and Enhance Peripheral Vision.” She engineered a device to strengthen tired eye muscles and improve peripheral vision using LED lights.
Paula Golden, Executive Director of Broadcom Foundation, applauded the efforts of all of the finalists, the nation’s finest young innovators. “Each of our Broadcom MASTERS finalists will become ambassadors for STEM education,” she said. “They will bring a cash award to their schools, inspiring their peers to see that math and science education throughout high school translates into college and career opportunities that will define their futures and help them achieve their full potential in a world that is hungry for talent and innovation.”
The awards are a capstone to an exciting week of programming for the 30 middle school finalists, who showcased their projects and took part in hands-on STEM activities. They capped off the week with field trips to the Maryland Science Center, the National Inventors Hall of Fame at the U.S. Patent Office and other sites.
The Broadcom MASTERS program helps middle school students translate a personal interest into a passion for science, engineering and innovation, and encourages them to continue with science and math through high school. 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 over seven decades.
Other MASTERS winners are:
- Science Awards: First place goes to Shixuan Justin Li of Lynn Haven, Fla., for his project on mosquito repellents. Second place goes to Nichole Odzer of North Miami Beach, Fla., for her project on reef-building corals and global warming.
- Technology Awards: First place goes to Daniel Lu of Carlisle, Mass., for his project on the perception of volume. Second place goes to Anirudh Jain of Portland, Ore., for his project on silver nanoparticles and pollution.
- Engineering Awards: First place goes to Chase Lewis of Chapel Hill, N.C., for his project on gun powders and nitrocellulose. Second place goes to Carolyn Jons of Eden Prairie, Minn., for her project on mold growth on blueberries.
- Mathematics Awards: First place goes to Maria Elena Grimmett of Jupiter, Fla., for her project on removing pharmaceutical contaminants from groundwater. Second place goes to Maya Patel of The Woodlands, Texas, for her project on predicting the spread of wildfires.
- Rising Stars Award: Cassie Drury of Louisville, Ky., and Mabel Wheeler of Orem, Utah, won a trip to the world’s largest international high school science fair competition in May as U.S. delegates to Broadcom MASTERS International in recognition their projects on cell signaling in wound healing in worms, and the impact of sunscreen on the degradation of polymers, respectively.
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- Science News: Car-Crazy Kid Wins Middle School Science Competition
- Pasadena Star-News: South Pasadena Student Says Being Spoiled is Not Bad if you’re an SUV
- Pasadena Sun: South Pas Science Fair Champ Goes National
- Pasadena Sun: Spoiler Alert: South Pasadena 13-year-old Designs Test to Help SUVs Save Fuel
- Orange County Register: 4 O.C. Students Semifinalists in Broadcom Science Contest
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