Although the pandemic put a halt to travelling competitions, Broadcom MASTERS offered students a chance to compete in a Society-affiliated science fair and become one of the “Top 300 Middle School Innovators in National STEM Competition.” Of the 300 finalists announced Sept. 2, five are Heritage students. Eighth grader Maha Siddiqui and freshmen Sharon Fernandez, Saumya Narang, Zoe Weissman and Ellaheh Gohari now have the chance to become one of 30 Broadcom MASTERS finalists.
With a focus in STEM, the Broadcom MASTERS program “seeks to inspire young scientists, engineers and innovators to solve the grand challenges of the 21st century,” per their website. Partnering with the Department of Defense, Broadcom MASTERS awarded the semifinalists $125, as well as a package of certificates and subscriptions.
To apply, the five semifinalists submitted the projects they had worked on the year before through a series of long paperwork, a process they’ll repeat for the next stage of competition.
“Being a finalist feels pretty weird to me, to be honest. I haven’t really ever been a finalist in competitions like this, so it’s all new to me,” Siddiqui, who studied how to tackle plants invading the Everglades, said. “Through Broadcom, I hope to gain more competition and research experience.”
Along with the title of finalist, the thirty who continue to the next stage have the chance to compete for over $100,000 in scholarship prizes. This list will be released Sept. 16. “I still cannot believe that I got nominated,” Weissman, whose project focused on pain relievers derived from plant chemicals, said. “I am so honored to be a Broadcom finalist. I never thought I would even get close to the top 300. It took lots of hard work and effort, but it was all worth it.”