Five scientists earn Broadcom MASTERS semifinalist status

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“I hope to gain experience at competing in these types of competitions,” Fernandez said. “I enjoy meeting students that share a similar passion for science as well as teachers and instructors from various schools and colleges. Even though this year might be different regarding meeting new people, I hope that I am able to still do it online.” (Photo/Broadcom Foundation)

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.”

As a senior, Kayla Rubenstein spends her fourth (and heartbreakingly final) year on staff as Online Editor-in-Chief, Business Manager and Social Media Correspondent. Wanting to make the most of her senior year, Kayla serves as the President of Quill and Scroll, Historian of Rho Kappa and Co-Historian of NHS, while also actively participating in EHS and SNHS. Outside of school, Kayla contributes to Mensa’s publications and volunteers with different organizations within her community. An avid reader, Kayla can often be found with her nose in a book when not working on an article for The Patriot Post or developing a project for iPatriot Post.

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