Check out the Broadcom MASTERS awards ceremony

A swanky event honors some fantastic young scientists

The 2014 Broadcom MASTERS celebrates middle school science stars. The two big winners this year are Holly Jackson, left, and Sahar Khashayar, right.

L. Buitrago/SSP

WASHINGTON — Last night a group of 30 excited young teens and tweens received honors and a very fancy dinner at the Carnegie Institution for Science. During the previous few days, they bonded with each other, played a lot of games, taken on some science challenges and even met President Barack Obama. These were the finalists of the Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering for Rising Stars) competition. It’s a program of the Society for Science & the Public. It is sponsored by Broadcom, a company that makes devices for Internet connectivity that are found in many of the devices we use every day. (SSP also publishes Science News for Students and this blog).

Eureka! Lab was on the scene, live tweeting the event. We’ve now put together a Storify of the event below. Check out these amazing kids and their fantastic projects.

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The 2014 Broadcom MASTERS Awards Ceremony

The Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering Rising Stars) was created by the Society for Science & the Public, and lets middle school students from all over the country share their amazing work with each other and the public.

    For the Broadcom MASTERS, a week of team challenges, presentations, tours and fun culminates in the Awards Ceremony, where students are presented with prizes and honored for their achievements. Eureka! Lab was on the scene to
    .@eureka_labs will be live tweeting tonight’s Broadcom MASTERS ceremony! #brcmMASTERS
    These middle school scientists get a swanky dinner! #brcmMASTERS
    The Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Elliot Francis, an evening news anchor for WAMU 88.5 in Washington, D.C.
    Elliot Francis says he loved science as a kid, never lost the fascination. #brcmMASTERS
    Francis says he’s very jealous that the #brcmMASTERS got to play with raspberry pi this week!
    For one of their challenges, the kids got to play with Raspberry Pis, small customizable computers that can be adapted for tons of different projects.
    Francis; you are probably at the center if the next few decades. #brcmMASTERS
    Francis then introduced Maya Ajmera, the CEO of Society for Science & the Public.
    The #brcmMASTERS got to meet the president today!! So jealous!!
    Ajmera says she fell in love with science and became a science competition junkie! #brcmMASTERS
    Ajmera actually went to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair when she was in school!
    Ajmera hopes that the #brcmMASTERS have inspired students across the country.
    Ajmere says next years #brcmMASTERS will be on the west coast! West coast middle schoolers take note!
    Now on to Scott McGregor the president and CEO of Broadcom #brcmMASTERS and an SSP alumnus!
    McGregor welcomes the parents, thanks them for their love and encouragement. #brcmMASTERS
    McGregor says these #brcmMASTERS are the best in class! They really are, so much fun!
    McGregor then let the MASTERS know that he would be handing out wearable, and programmable, electronic devices to each and every one of them at the dance for them to make their own!
    McGregor notes that the wearable device is totally hackable. Can’t wait to see what people make! #brcmMASTERS
    The #brcmMASTERS will select two delegates from this class to go to ISEF in May in Pittsburgh!
    Each year, the #brcmMASTERS kids select one teen to be their speaker, this year, it’s Daniel Bruce, who studied flight initiation in birds!
    Daniel headed up to the microphone to an enormous amount of applause. The MASTERS have really bonded over the last few days.
    Daniel says he started out nervous but made lifelong friends in just a few day. Smart goofy friends! #brcmMASTERS
    Daniel notes that the #brcmMASTERS are a bit obsessed with the game mafia. They are ruthless!
    Mafia is a strategy game where people are divided into members of the mafia, police or town. The goal is to take down the mafia before they “kill” everyone else! Every day during the Broadcom MASTERS the game room was alive with groups playing mafia.
    Daniel says one of the most important things was teamwork…and being away from their parents for a week! #brcmMASTERS
    Chant loud now! “We are Broadcom MASTERS!! Wooooo!” #brcmMASTERS
    Next Paula Golden took the stage to introduce the keynote speaker.
    Keynote speaker is Eben Upton, the co founder of raspberry pi! #brcmMASTERS
    Upton says all he know about the American education system is from reading Calvin and Hobbes. #ouch #brcmMASTERS
    Upton shows off the 33 year old computer he made when he was a kid! #brcmMASTERS  it still works!!
    Upton then talked about his inspiration behind Raspberry Pi. He said he began to see enrollment in computer science classes drop. And he realized that it was because the fun immediately of programming that he experienced was going away.
    Upton says many machines now are not as programmable. People lose interest because they can try their own stuff #brcmMASTERS
    So Upton made his own little programmable computer in 2006. #brcmMASTERS you can build it for $25.
    While this little computer was not particularly easy or fun for people who aren’t already computer scientists, it was Upton’s inspiration for what would eventually become Raspberry Pi.
    Then Upton realized what raspberry pi had to be. Cheap, programmable, tough, and fun. #brcmMASTERS
    At first Upton was thrilled that raspberry pi was so popular, but then realized…they still had to build one #brcmMASTERS
    Now introducing the #brcmMASTERS judging chair William Wallace!
    WIlliam Wallace is a teacher at Georgetown Day School and has been an enthusiastic supporter and judge at the Broadcom MASTERS for many years.
    Wallace explains that the #brcmMASTERS had to explain their projects and tackle devious challenges.
    12 girls and 18 boys took the stage to receive their medals, and cheered enthusiastically for each other.
    Muhammad Abdullah! Nikhil Behari! Daniel Bruce! Benjamin Chrepta! #brcmMASTERS
    Joshua Courtney! Ramon Das! Leo Deng! Linus Freyer (who’s project was about lasagna!) #brcmMASTERS
    Caroline Edmonds! Raghav Ganesh! Makayla Gates who studied acoustic levitation! 🙂 Alden Giedraitis! Floyd Greenwood! #brcmMASTERS
    Holly Jackson who did the science of sewing! Aditya Jain! Gelsey Jaymes who studied oysters. 🙂 Sahar Khashayar! #brcmMASTERS
    Rajiv Movva who studied compounds to help diabetes. Chythanya Murali! Caroline Nolan! Jonathan Okasinski! #brcmMASTERS
    Annie Ostojic, who studied how best to use your microwave! James Roney who studied ants! Hafsa Naseem Saeed! #brcmMASTERS
    Alex Shelby who studied pizza grease! Aditya Sivakumar! Talar Victoria-Grace Terzian! #brcmMASTERS
    Annika Urban who invented a stethophone to track asthma symptoms with your phone ! Katherine Wu! Liam Hayden Young! #brcmMASTERS
    Broadcom foundation announces that each #brcmMASTERS finalist will have $1000 donated to their middle school in their honor. Awesome!
    Now Jennifer Brinker Evans from MIT tells about her work: planes, radar, car racing. All as an electrical engineer! #brcmMASTERS
    But Brinker Evans wasn’t just there for inspiration. As a representative of the Ceres Connection at the MIT Lincoln Library, she announced that every Broadcom MASTERS finalist will be getting their own main belt asteroid named after them! Their teachers and mentors will also receive their own asteroids.
    The #brcmMASTERS are all getting their names in the stars on asteroids! Look for them around November 6! Their teachers too!
    The #brcmMASTERS all get certificates for their asteroids. I am so jealous!
    Next, the finalists got to see their highlight reel! It didn’t feature Mafia, their favorite game, but it did feature all of the finalists and many of the challenges they took on.
    Then it was on to the awards!
    First up, science is best done together! Teams completed challenges together. Award this year goes to the White Team! #brcmMASTERS
    The White Team is Ben Chrepta, Caroline Edmonds, Floyd Greenwood, Chythanya Murali, Aditya Sivakumar  #brcmMASTERS
    Then the Rising Stars awards were given out to one boy and one girl from the finalists. They will be delegates to the 2015 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburg, PA.
    The Rising Stars awards are mentions for the most social and helpful among us! #brcmMASTERS One boy and one girl each year.
    Male Rising Star is Raghav Ganesh, who designed an add on for blind people’s canes that vibrates when it detects obstacles! #brcmMASTERS
    Female Rising Star is Annie Ostojic, who figured out the hot spots in a microwave and made a dish to heat food evenly! #brcmMASTERS
    The next eight awards were given for experiments and inventions in science, technology, engineering and math.
    2nd place Science award goes to Daniel Bruce, who showed urban birds flee people slower than wild ones. #brcmMASTERS
    The 1st place science award goes to James Roney, who showed ants lay down pheromones to show food quality as well as quantity. #brcmMASTERS
    The 2nd Place Technology award goes to Nikki Behari. He designed a security system that analyzes typing rhythms. #brcmMASTERS
    The 1st place Technology award goes to Aditya Jain who designed a diagnostic tool to detect lung cancer nodules! #brcmMASTERS
    The 2nd Place Engineering is Annika Urban, who designed the Stethophone to detect asthma sounds! #brcmMASTERS
    The 1st Place Engineering is Chythanya Murali, who studied biodegradable enzymes and bacteria to clean up oil spills #brcmMASTERS
    Second place math award to Jonathan Okasinski! #brcmMASTERS
    Jonathan attempted to demonstrate quantum entanglement…for less than $1,000. He almost made it!
    Rajiv looked at doses of flavanols found in normal grocery store foods and how they might help patients with diabetes.
    On to the main prizes! First, the Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation. This $10,000 award is given to a student who demonstrates vision and promise as an innovator.
    The $10,000 Marconi/Samueli Innovation Award goes to Sahar Khashayar, who designed a wildfire early warning system! #brcmMASTERS
    Finally, the Samueli Foundation Prize, to a finalist who shows mastery in science, technology, engineering and math, and is an example of how research, innovation and teamwork come together.
    All the #brcmMASTERS are chanting “holly! Holly!” Awesome!
    A fantastic ceremony for fantastic kids!

Bethany Brookshire was a longtime staff writer at Science News Explores and is the author of the book Pests: How Humans Create Animal Villains. She has a Ph.D. in physiology and pharmacology and likes to write about neuroscience, biology, climate and more. She thinks Porgs are an invasive species.

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