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Broadcom MASTERS™ 2011 Science, Technology, Engineering And Math Competition Winners Announced In Washington, DC

WASHINGTON, Oct. 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

  • Broadcom Foundation created the Broadcom MASTERS™ competition to support middle school STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education.
  • First place winner Daniel Feeny (age 15) of Woodside, Calif. receives $25,000; second place and $10,000 is awarded to Benjamin Hylak (age 14) of West Grove, Penn; third place and $5,000 is awarded to I-Chun Lin (age 14) of Plano, Texas.
  • The Broadcom MASTERS 2011 is a partnership with Society for Science & the Public.

The Broadcom Foundation and Society for Science & the Public (SSP) today announced the 2011 winners of the Broadcom MASTERS™ national STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) competition for sixth, seventh and eighth graders. Broadcom and SSP also announced top winners in the categories of Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Rising Stars. Learn more and congratulate the winners of the 2011 Broadcom MASTERS competition at

In total, Broadcom Foundation and classroom partner Elmer's® Products, Inc. offered more than $500,000 in prizes, awards and rebates to nominees, entrants, semifinalists, finalists, and their teachers and schools. Funding for the top award comes from the Samueli Foundation, which strives to create societal value by investing in innovative, entrepreneurial and sustainable ideas. Winners were chosen from a pool of 30 top finalists (17 girls and 13 boys from 14 states and Puerto Rico, representing 29 schools) culled from more than 1,475 applications received from 45 states. Winners were selected by a panel of distinguished scientists and engineers from across the country.

Winners Include:

First Place: $25,000 Winner: Daniel Feeny, 15, Woodside, Calif. Project: Are Waves the Dominant Force Driving Diversity in the Intertidal Zone?Through his research, first place winner Daniel Feeny noticed that some sections of the intertidal zone at Pescadero Beach were rich in species, while other sections of the beach were bare. The difference intrigued him, and he wondered if the force of waves striking the shore affects the diversity and number of organisms living there. He designed an experiment to quantify wave forces in different sections of the intertidal zone and correlate this data with the diversity of organisms in each location.

Second Place: $10,000 Winner: Benjamin Hylak, 14, West Grove, Penn. Project: Practical Application of a Telepresence RobotSecond place honors and $10,000 goes to Benjamin Hylak, 14, of West Grove, Penn., for his project on the practical application of a telepresence robot. Benjamin's grandmother lives in a senior residence facility, and he noticed that some of her fellow residents had few or no visitors. He wanted to find a new way for residents to connect with family and friends and decided to build an interactive robot, through which people could virtually visit their loved ones at the facility.

Third Place: $5,000 Winner: I-Chun Lin, 14, of Plano, Texas Project: A Study of Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell Efficiency and LifespanThird place honors and $5,000 goes to I-Chun Lin, 14, of Plano, Texas for her project on dye-sensitized solar cell efficiency and lifespan. As an active member of her school's recycling club, I-Chun wanted to find an inexpensive, eco-friendly way to harness solar power. She learned that dye-sensitized solar cells are cheaper to manufacture than solar panels, but are not nearly as efficient. She hypothesized that a mixture of dyes would be most efficient, helping the cell to increase its voltage output.

STEM Award Winners:
  • Science Award: Samantha Rowland of Tipp City, Ohio, wins a Celestron Telescope and an iPad2 for her project on the impact of light type on pine needles.
  • Technology Award: Robert Heckman of Kailua, Hawaii, wins a STEM summer camp experience and an iPad2 for his project on coral tumors, parrotfish predation and bacteria.
  • Engineering Award: Katherine Landoni of Sequim, Wash., wins a VIZIO Home Theatre System and an iPad2 for her project on genetic variation and salinity in New Zealand mud snails.
  • Mathematics Award: Crystal Poole of San Diego, Calif. wins a STEM summer camp experience and an iPad2 for her project on buttercream frosting.

Rising Stars Award:
  • Carolyn Jons of Eden Prairie, Minn., and Chad Campbell of Hampstead, N.C., win a trip to the May 2012 Intel ISEF high school competition in Pittsburgh as official observers of the Broadcom MASTERS in recognition of their projects on soap bubbles, and the presence of antibiotics in meat, respectively.

The Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology, and Engineering for Rising Stars) program helps children build a personal passion for science, engineering, and innovation, and stay with science and math through high school. Sponsored by Broadcom Foundation, a non-profit public benefit organization funded by Broadcom Corporation, the Broadcom MASTERS is a program of Society for Science & the Public. SSP has run some of the world's most prestigious science competitions for more than seven decades.

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