The Samueli Foundation Prize:


Holly Jackson, 14, San Jose, Calif.
Sewing Science

Grand prize winner Holly Jackson has loved to sew since the fourth grade, when she learned to construct dolls and clothing. She has long been fascinated with the idea of testing the strength and the best applications for various stitches. Using different fabrics and threads, Holly decided to test which type of lockstitch, a stitch made from two interlocked threads, would be strongest: straight, stretch, zigzag or three-point zigzag. She found that polyester thread failed, as hypothesized, and that a straight stitch was strongest on average. Holly’s project taught her stitch strength is crucial, and that it is important that a seam is as strong as it can be—especially in devices like parachutes and seat belts where a person’s life may be dependent on the strength of a seam.

She was selected for the Samueli Foundation Prize based on her mastery of STEM principles during the weeklong competition. Holly has exemplified how research and innovation are dependent on the integration of these disciplines as well as the impact they collectively have on our everyday lives.

Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation:


Sahar Khashayar, 14, Laguna Niguel, Calif.
Wildfire Early Warning System Using Computer Science

Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation winner Sahar Khashayar was inspired to study wildfire detection after hearing about Arizona’s deadly Yarnell Hill fire in 2013. She was moved to explore whether a mix of hardware and software could spot the early signs of a fire better than humans could. Sahar created a device using temperature and gas sensors, along with an infrared sensor and processor board to detect the three main signatures of fire: heat, smoke and infrared radiation. She also wrote a program to send a warning via Bluetooth® to a smartphone if her detector measured any values suggestive of a fire. She concluded that deploying a network of her $60 early wildfire detection devices could save lives and property.

Sahar was selected because she demonstrates both vision and promise as an innovator, and in the spirit of radio inventor Guglielmo Marconi, has shown aptitude and skill in applied electrical engineering concepts in her science project and in the STEM challenges throughout the week.


Each of these finalists (first- and second-place award winners) were selected for demonstrated skills and promise in each of the disciplines represented by STEM. First place winners received $3,500 and second place winners were awarded $2,500 to support a summer camp experience of a finalist's choice of STEM programs offered around the country. Each STEM winner also wins an iPad.

Science Award


First place: James Roney, of Santa Barbara, Calif., for his project on how ants use pheromones to communicate the quality of potential food sources.


Second place: Daniel Bruce, of San Diego, Calif., for his project on how the presence of humans affects the flight behavior of lagoon birds in coastal Southern California.

Technology Award


First place: Aditya Jain, of Portland, Ore., for his project developing an automated diagnostic tool for the early detection of lung cancer.


Second place: Nikhil Behari, of Sewickley, Penn., for his project analyzing data breaches and improving security with keystroke-based authentication for websites.

Engineering Award


First place: Chythanya Murali, of Little Rock, Ark., for her project on testing eco-friendly alternatives to the treatment chemicals used to clean up oil spills.


Second place: Annika Urban, of Pittsburgh, for her invention of the "Stethophone," a device designed to enable doctors to listen to a patient's heart and lungs remotely.

Mathematics Award


First place: Rajiv Movva, of San Jose, Calif., for his project testing plant-based flavonoids for their ability to help maintain lower, more stable blood sugar levels in Type 2 diabetics.


Second place: Jonathan Okasinski, of Harleysville, Penn., for his project that improved on an experiment to demonstrate the concept of quantum entanglement.

Rising Stars Award

Annie Ostojic of Munster, Ind., (pictured, left) and Raghav Ganesh of San Jose, Calif., (pictured, right) win a trip to Intel ISEF, the world’s largest international high school science fair competition, in May 2015 as the United States Delegates to Broadcom MASTERS International, in recognition of their work throughout the Broadcom MASTERS finals, as well as their projects on how food could be microwaved more efficiently, and a new interactive add-on for a white cane for the visually impaired, respectively.

Team Award

The Broadcom MASTERS Team Award was awarded to the White Team for demonstrating their ability to work together, solve problems through shared decision making, communication and scientific and engineering collaboration. Each received an iPod nano and wristband. (Pictured, left to right: first place Engineering Award winner Chythanya Murali, Caroline Edmonds, Ben Chrepta, Floyd Greenwood and Aditya Sivakumar)


Broadcom Foundation and Society for Science & the Public present the 30 middle school finalists who competed in the fourth annual Broadcom MASTERS competition. The 12 girls and 18 boys came from 13 states and represented 29 schools. The finalists won an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., and competed for more than $75,000 in cash prizes.

The names, geographic location and project titles of the 30 finalists is below. Winners, shown above, were announced on October 28, 2014.

Broadcom MASTERS 2014 Finalist Book

First Name Last Name City State Project
Muhammad Abdulla Melbourne FL Deterministic and Stochastic Analysis in Biomedical Engineering: Fractal Geometry vs. Brownian Motion
Nikhil Behari Sewickley PA Latencies, Haptics, & Passwords
Daniel Bruce San Diego CA Flight Initiation Distance: Human Presence Impacts on Lagoon Bird Response
Benjamin Chrepta Rochester MN Improving and Testing Robotic Arm Kinesthetics with the Use of Processing, Kinect, and Arduino
Joshua Courtney Baton Rouge LA Condition Factors in Fish as Bioindicators of Oyster Over-harvesting in the Calcasieu Estuary
Arnob Das Portland OR A Novel Biocompatible Medical Implant Material
Leo Deng Portland OR Development of Forest Fire Prediction Tool for the State of Oregon
Caroline Edmonds Fountain Valley CA Blink and Run: Flashlight Fish
Linus Freyer Pinecrest FL Who Wants to Eat Horse?: Accuracy of Meat Declaration in Lasagna
Raghav Ganesh San Jose CA A Low Cost, Adoptable, User Tested Add-on Device for the White Cane Facilitating Safer Mobility of the Visually Impaired
Makayla Gates Peralta NM Acoustic Levitation: The Wave of the Future
Alden Giedraitis Byfield MA Project A.I.P: An Introduction to Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Navigation
Floyd Greenwood Andover MA Selectively Breeding Nannochloropsis Microalgae to Become a Healthier Feed Stock for Freshwater Rotifers
Holly Jackson San Jose CA Sewing Science
Aditya Jain Portland OR It’s a Matter of Life & Breath: An Improved Automated Diagnostic Tool for Lung Cancer Solitary Pulmonary Nodules (SPN) Detection towards Population Based Screening
Gelsey Jaymes Mount Pleasant SC No More Oyster Roasts?: Effect of Increasing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide on Oysters
Sahar Khashayar Laguna Niguel CA Wildfire Early Warning System using Computer Science
Rajiv Movva San Jose CA Preventing Excessive Blood Sugar Levels in Type 2 Diabetes Patients: An in vitro Inhibition Mechanism of Alpha-Amylase with Flavonoids
Chythanya Murali Little Rock AR Saving the Aquatic Ecosystem from Oil Spill Cleaning Agents: A Non-Conventional Approach
Caroline Nolan Stuart FL Filtering Agricultural Effluent with Fungal Mycelium
Jonathan Okasinski Harleysville PA To See or Not to See: A Foray into DIY Quantum Entanglement
Annie Ostojic Munster IN Wave Goodbye to Energy Loss
James Roney Santa Barbara CA Can Ant Pheromones Communicate Food Quality?
Hafsa Saeed Fort Pierce FL Nitrogen Levels from the Agricultural Fields to the Indian River Lagoon
Alexander Shelby Fishers IN Gre-Cycling
Aditya Sivakumar Beaverton OR An Acoustical Investigation of Western Classical Music Theory
Talar Terzian Gainesville FL Churn It Up: Off-the-Grid Laundry Agitators
Annika Urban Pittsburgh PA The Stethophone
Katherine Wu North Potomac MD A Driver's Companion: Using EEG Waves and Eye Blinks to Prevent Drowsy Driving
Liam Young Colorado Springs CO The Bubble Effect: How Nozzle Induced Cavitation Reduces Surface Drag on Water Vessels


Broadcom MASTERS students

Learn more about the 300 semifinalists.


Learn more about the past winners of the Broadcom MASTERS.