By Jason Chen

On August 29th, 2012, the Broadcom Foundation and Society for Science & the Public announced thirty middle school students as finalists for the Broadcom MASTERS Competition. These thirty students will travel to Washington, D.C., where they will be competing against each other to win over $40,000 in cash prizes.
The Broadcom Foundation is an organization dedicated to inspiring students around the world to pursue careers in science, engineering, and technology. It partners with many local schools, colleges, universities, and non-profit organizations to achieve its goals with future scientists. To help in reaching their ambitions, the Broadcom Foundation proudly partners with the Society for Science & the Public (SSP), another organization dedicated to the achievement of young researchers in science and investigations. The SSP has hosted numerous educational competitions such as the Intel Science Talent Search and the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, as well as published informative magazines like Science News and Science News for Kids. Together, the SSP and the Broadcom Foundation hosts the Broadcom MASTERS competition, allowing aspiring students to compete against each other in the fields of science and math. This competition is a nation-wide program designed to inspire future scientists to stay interested in science and math throughout high school.

The Broadcom MASTERS is one of the premiere competitions for middle school students (grades 6-8), testing their abilities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Students are nominated to participate in the competition through SSP-affiliated science fairs if they demonstrate an outstanding understanding of their project. These nominees must then describe their project in an application, showing how it uses the principles of STEM. From the many applicants, three hundred are selected to move to the semifinals, and only thirty of those semifinalists are eligible to move to the finals. A distinguished panel of scientists and engineers chooses semifinalists and finalists from over 1,400 applicants, so moving to the finals is a difficult task but can be very rewarding.

This year, Broadcom MASTERS will be holding its final competition on the week of September 28th. Out of the thirty finalists, six are from California, the most from any one state. Other finalists come from various other states, including Florida, Texas, Massachusetts, and Ohio. For the finals, competitors will have to independently engage in a research project, which they will display in Washington, D.C. In addition to their projects, finalists will also go through a series of team activities that will test their STEM knowledge. The winners will be determined by the end of the week on October 3rd, where first place will receive $25,000, second place $10,000, and third place $5,000. Middle school teachers who have mentored the finalists will also receive awards from the Broadcom Foundation.

The finals are a public event, so any interested people are allowed to attend the Broadcom MASTERS 2012 Science and Engineering Project Showcase on September 29th in Washington, D.C. To learn more about the upcoming finals, visit the SSP’s website at http://www.societyforscience.org/page.aspx?pid=808. To find out more about the Broadcom MASTERS Competition and how to apply, visit http://www.societyforscience.org/masters.