2014 Winners


The Samueli Foundation Prize:


Holly Jackson, 14, San Jose, Calif.
Sewing Science

Grand prize winner Holly Jackson has loved to sew since the fourth grade, when she learned to construct dolls and clothing. She has long been fascinated with the idea of testing the strength and the best applications for various stitches. Using different fabrics and threads, Holly decided to test which type of lockstitch, a stitch made from two interlocked threads, would be strongest: straight, stretch, zigzag or three-point zigzag. She found that polyester thread failed, as hypothesized, and that a straight stitch was strongest on average. Holly’s project taught her stitch strength is crucial, and that it is important that a seam is as strong as it can be—especially in devices like parachutes and seat belts where a person’s life may be dependent on the strength of a seam.

She was selected for the Samueli Foundation Prize based on her mastery of STEM principles during the weeklong competition. Holly has exemplified how research and innovation are dependent on the integration of these disciplines as well as the impact they collectively have on our everyday lives.


Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation:


Sahar Khashayar, 14, Laguna Niguel, Calif.
Wildfire Early Warning System Using Computer Science

Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation winner Sahar Khashayar was inspired to study wildfire detection after hearing about Arizona’s deadly Yarnell Hill fire in 2013. She was moved to explore whether a mix of hardware and software could spot the early signs of a fire better than humans could. Sahar created a device using temperature and gas sensors, along with an infrared sensor and processor board to detect the three main signatures of fire: heat, smoke and infrared radiation. She also wrote a program to send a warning via Bluetooth® to a smartphone if her detector measured any values suggestive of a fire. She concluded that deploying a network of her $60 early wildfire detection devices could save lives and property.

Sahar was selected because she demonstrates both vision and promise as an innovator, and in the spirit of radio inventor Guglielmo Marconi, has shown aptitude and skill in applied electrical engineering concepts in her science project and in the STEM challenges throughout the week.




Each of these finalists (first- and second-place award winners) were selected for demonstrated skills and promise in each of the disciplines represented by STEM. First place winners received $3,500 and second place winners were awarded $2,500 to support a summer camp experience of a finalist’s choice of STEM programs offered around the country. Each STEM winner also wins an iPad.


Science Award

First place: James Roney, of Santa Barbara, Calif., for his project on how ants use pheromones to communicate the quality of potential food sources.
Second place: Daniel Bruce, of San Diego, Calif., for his project on how the presence of humans affects the flight behavior of lagoon birds in coastal Southern California.

Technology Award


First place: Aditya Jain, of Portland, Ore., for his project developing an automated diagnostic tool for the early detection of lung cancer.


Second place: Nikhil Behari, of Sewickley, Penn., for his project analyzing data breaches and improving security with keystroke-based authentication for websites.


Engineering Award


First place: Chythanya Murali, of Little Rock, Ark., for her project on testing eco-friendly alternatives to the treatment chemicals used to clean up oil spills.


Second place: Annika Urban, of Pittsburgh, for her invention of the “Stethophone,” a device designed to enable doctors to listen to a patient’s heart and lungs remotely.


Mathematics Award


First place: Rajiv Movva, of San Jose, Calif., for his project testing plant-based flavonoids for their ability to help maintain lower, more stable blood sugar levels in Type 2 diabetics.


Second place: Jonathan Okasinski, of Harleysville, Penn., for his project that improved on an experiment to demonstrate the concept of quantum entanglement.


Rising Stars Award


Annie Ostojic of Munster, Ind., (pictured, left) and Raghav Ganesh of San Jose, Calif., (pictured, right) win a trip to Intel ISEF, the world’s largest international high school science fair competition, in May 2015 as the United States Delegates to Broadcom MASTERS International, in recognition of their work throughout the Broadcom MASTERS finals, as well as their projects on how food could be microwaved more efficiently, and a new interactive add-on for a white cane for the visually impaired, respectively.


Team Award

The Broadcom MASTERS Team Award was awarded to the White Team for demonstrating their ability to work together, solve problems through shared decision making, communication and scientific and engineering collaboration. Each received an iPod nano and wristband. (Pictured, left to right: first place Engineering Award winner Chythanya Murali, Caroline Edmonds, Ben Chrepta, Floyd Greenwood and Aditya Sivakumar)


Broadcom Foundation and Society for Science & the Public present the 30 middle school finalists who competed in the fourth annual Broadcom MASTERS competition. The 12 girls and 18 boys came from 13 states and represented 29 schools. The finalists won an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., and competed for more than $75,000 in cash prizes.

2014 Finalist PDF
Winners were announced on October 28, 2014.