On Tuesday, October 1, SSP and Broadcom Foundation announced
the winners of the 2013 Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology,
Engineering, and Rising Stars).
Grace, 14, from West Melbourne, FL won the Samueli Foundation Grand Prize of
$25,000 for his project, Rain Dance of the Radiata: Behavior of the Endangered
Radiated Tortoise and Related Species and his mastery of STEM principles during
the weeklong competition.
became fascinated by the behavior of tortoises through his volunteer work at
his local zoo and a tortoise breeding facility. He observed that whenever it
rained, a captive group of endangered radiated tortoises would rise up and
shuffle rhythmically. River hypothesized that this behavior allows tortoises to
avoid drowning in flash floods in their arid native habitat in Madagascar and
tested their reactions to a gentle flow of water, light mist and a sprinkling
of lentils. To support conservation efforts, River now plans to repeat the
experiment on several closely related tortoise species.
Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation of $10,000 went to Eitan Acks, 14, of San
Diego. Eitan was inspired to study speech therapy by his little brother, who
has dyspraxia, a disability that affects the ability to communicate. Eitan wanted
to improve on the simple exercises using tongue depressors prescribed by speech
therapists. So he put his engineering skills to use building a better device to
strengthen the parts of the body used in speech, and to mend the connection
between those muscles and the brain. Through trial and error with five different
prototypes, Eitan found that his device is capable of improving modern speech
therapy for dyspraxia as well as other speech disorders.
addition, first and second place awards were provided in each of the four STEM
categories: science, technology, engineering, and math.
Science Awards: First place goes to Keoni
Gandall of Huntington Beach, CA, for his project on engineering pink salt. Second
place goes to Julienne Sauer of San Ramon, CA., for her project on superconductors
and frictionless motion.
Technology Awards: First place goes to Austin
McCoy of Rochester, MN, for his project on disease detection lab equipment for
developing countries. Second place goes to Rebecca Bloomfield of Colorado
Springs, CO, for her project on the effects of slope and remediation on post-fire
Engineering Awards: First place goes to Mihir
Garimella of Pittsburgh, PA, for his project on digitally recreating smells.
Second place goes to Sidhika Balachandar, of Gainesville, FL, for her project
Mathematics Awards: First place goes to Johann
Kailey-Steiner of Denver, CO for his project on rocket design. Second place
goes to Joshua Wentzel of Portland, OR, for his project on homemade air
Horton of Menifee, CA, and Sean Weber of Sequim, WA were also named Rising
Stars and won a trip to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair
(Intel ISEF) in May 2014 as part of the Broadcom MASTERS International program.
Read the press release
Learn more about the Broadcom MASTERS