Thursday, November 4, 2021

Broadcom MASTERS Awards

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, History of Science, Nature of Science, Students

Ed Hessler

In late October, the Society for Science issued a press release on the 2021 awardees in the Broadcom Masters science and engineering competition for middle school students. The top award went to Akilan Sankaran (14) from Albuquerque, New Mexico who is the "first student with a math project in the competition's 11-year history to take home the Samueli Foundation Prize" of $25,000.

The prize "is a gift of Dr. Henry Samueli, Chairman of the Board, Broadcom Inc., and Chair of the Broadcom Foundation and his wife, Dr. Susan Samueli, President of the Samueli Foundation."

Sankaran's computer program has the "potential capacity to speed up and optimize the performance of software and apps, such as Shazam." This required the creation of a new class of mathematical functions.

There were thirty finalists who "took home more than $100,000 in awards." The press release includes a list of the winners and the titles of their projects. The Broadcom MASTERS "winners were chosen from the 30 finalists selected from 1841 applicants" (48 states, Washington, D.C. and the territories of Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands). "Winners were selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, engineers and educators. Each finalist's school will receive $1000 from the Broadcom MASTERS program to benefit their STEM initiatives." The event was virtual due to the pandemic.

The press release includes a brief description of the top five awardees and a link where you can learn more about each of them and their projects. These links are a delight to read and the research is impressive. In addition, there are links to the other awardees in the various categories.

There is also information on the Broadcom MASTERS, about the Broadcom Foundation, and the Society for Science. The link to the media kit includes photographs and videos of the top award winners.

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