IRVINE, Calif. and WASHINGTON, Aug. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Broadcom Foundation and Society for Science & the Public (SSP) today announced the selection of 300 middle school students as semifinalists in its first ever Broadcom MASTERS™ competition. The Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology, and Engineering for Rising Stars) semifinalists come from 251 middle schools across the United States with concentrations in California, Florida, Texas, Ohio and Oregon. Semifinalists' names and a state-by-state breakdown can be found at www.societyforscience.org/masters and www.broadcomfoundation.org/masters. The Broadcom MASTERS is the national STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) competition for sixth, seventh, and eighth graders nominated to compete by their local SSP-affiliated science and engineering fair. Sponsored by Broadcom Foundation, a private non-profit public benefit organization funded by Broadcom Corporation, the Broadcom MASTERS encourages middle schoolers to continue their studies in STEM courses throughout high school by igniting a personal passion for science, engineering and innovation through a competition that exposes them to independent research, scientific inquiry, hands-on learning and teamwork. Students who participate in the Broadcom MASTERS will be better prepared to meet the challenges of the future as tomorrow's innovators who lead the way with scientific breakthroughs, engineering feats and technological know-how. The Broadcom MASTERS semifinalists were selected by a panel of distinguished scientists and engineers from among 1,476 applicants located in 45 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico. Semifinalists and their teachers will receive prizes from Broadcom Foundation and Elmer's Products, the official classroom partner of the Broadcom MASTERS. Following today's semifinalist selection, Broadcom Foundation and SSP will announce the 30 Broadcom MASTERS finalists on August 31st. The finalists will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, DC in October to showcase their science fair projects and compete in a four-day STEM competition for awards and prizes, including the top education award of $25,000 presented by the Samueli Foundation, a gift of Susan and Henry Samueli, a founder of Broadcom. Quotes:Paula Golden, Executive Director of Broadcom Foundation and Director of Broadcom Community Affairs"The Broadcom MASTERS provides a unique opportunity for a sixth, seventh or eighth grader to apply his or her knowledge of math, science, and language to a personal interest for the first time in their young academic experience. Through the experience of a science or engineering project, a student can become inspired to continue with STEM courses throughout high school when many kids drop away from these subjects because they fail to see the connection to their lives. By sustaining middle school interest in these subjects into high school, we will increase the pool of scientists, engineers and innovators of the future."Elizabeth Marincola, President of Society for Science & the Public"Middle School is an important time in students' lives, a time when they begin to formulate ideas on what career paths to pursue. It is important to ensure they have access to science and engineering, not just the facts but the hands-on experience of learning about the world through scientific experimentation and understanding the engineering process. The Broadcom MASTERS inspires and rewards these important project-based pursuits." For more information on the Broadcom MASTERS program please visit www.societyforscience.org/masters and www.broadcomfoundation.org/masters To follow SSP and the MASTERS on Twitter go to www.twitter.com/society4science, or visit the SSP Broadcom Masters Facebook pages at www.facebook.com/societyforscience and www.facebook.com/broadcommasters. About Broadcom Foundation and Broadcom Corporation Broadcom Foundation was founded to inspire and enable young people throughout the world to enter careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through partnerships with local schools, colleges, universities and non-profit organizations. The Foundation's mission is to advance education in STEM by funding research, recognizing scholarship and increasing opportunity. Learn more at www.broadcomfoundation.org. Broadcom Corporation (NASDAQ: BRCM), a FORTUNE 500® company, is a global leader and innovator in semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications. Broadcom® products seamlessly deliver voice, video, data and multimedia connectivity in the home, office and mobile environments. With the industry's broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art system-on-a-chip and embedded software solutions, Broadcom is changing the world by Connecting everything®. For more information, go to www.broadcom.com. About Society for Science & the Public Society for Science & the Public (SSP) is one of the oldest nonprofit organizations in the U.S. dedicated to public engagement in science and science education. Established in 1921, SSP is a membership organization dedicated to building understanding and appreciation of science and the vital role it plays in human advancement.