Broadcom MASTERS national science and engineering middle school competition.Smita Mohindra, a Mildred E. Strang Middle School student, has been named semifinalist in the third annual
The Yorktown Heights student is in the running for a chance to win $25,000 and a trip to Washington D.C. The 30 finalists will be announced on Aug. 27.
Mohindra, whose project is titled 'Novel Strategies in the Treatment of Vertebrobasilar Insufficiency Using Sensors,' is among 300 semifinalists chosen from around the country.
The reasons why she chose her project topic was her grandfather who had fallen in his home while he was trying to get his coffee from a microwave above his cooking range. Mohindra said this was "not merely an accident."
"He needed to extend and rotate his neck upwards to open the microwave," she said. "As he was doing so, he felt very weak and dizzy and quickly fell, hitting his head on the kitchen floor. Tests determined that he had suffered a mini stroke due to vertebrobasilar insufficiency. Watching him and many others suffer from VBI served as a major source of inspiration for my research."
The Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering for Rising Stars) was created to reward and inspire sixth, seventh and eighth grade students to continue their studies in math and science throughout high school.
The students are guided to follow their personal passion through a unique competition that introduces them to independent research, scientific inquiry and the engineering process via hands-on learning and teamwork in their area of interest.
"Broadcom focuses on STEM education at the middle school level because statistically there is a significant drop off in math and science during high school that can be prevented if students are encouraged to explore their skills early on," said Paula Golden, Executive Director, Broadcom Foundation and Director, Community Affairs, Broadcom Corporation. "The Broadcom MASTERS competition was designed to inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists to take on careers in STEM that will help change our world for the better."
Semifinalists in the competition hail from 253 middle schools in 43 states, representing 123 fairs across the U.S., Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands.
They were selected from more than 1,695 applicants after rigorous evaluation and judging conducted by distinguished scientists, engineers and educators. Applicants qualify to enter the Broadcom MASTERS by placing in the top 10 percent of the participants at their SSP-affiliated science fairs and winning the nomination.