Five Pittsburgh – Area Students named to Broadcom Masters Top 300




Five students who participated in Carnegie Science Center’s Covestro Pittsburgh Regional Science & Engineering Fair (PRSEF) are among the Top 300 in the eighth annual Broadcom MASTERS, the nation’s premier science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) competition for middle school students.

Broadcom MASTERS, a program founded and produced by the Society for Science & the Public, seeks to inspire young scientists, engineers, and innovators to solve the grand challenges of the 21st century. MASTERS stands for Math, Applied Science, Technology, and Engineering Rising Stars. The Top 300 represent the top sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade projects entered in Society-affiliated science fairs around the country.

Thirty of the 300 students will be selected as finalists by a nationally ranked panel of scientists, engineers and educators on Sept. 18. Those 30 students will travel to Washington, D.C., to participate in a four-day STEM competition for more than $100,000 in awards and prizes.

The Pittsburgh-area students who are in the Top 300 are: 

  • Eleanor Barth-Wu, The Campus School of Carlow University, Pittsburgh, Grade 8, “Can Indium Be Extracted from Used Touch Screens?”
  • Arvind Seshan, Dorseyville Middle School, Fox Chapel Area School District, Grade 7, “Leveraging Directional Antenna-Based Wireless Signal Localization to Aid Search and Rescue Efforts.”
  • Olina Mukherjee, Kentucky Avenue School, Pittsburgh, Grade 6, “Complex Social Behavior in Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches.” Olina also received a Carnegie Science Award in May.
  • Anna Spalvieri, St. Kilian Parish School, Seven Fields, Grade 8, “Eye See It Differently.”
  • Jackson Zemek, Winchester Thurston School, Pittsburgh, Grade 8, “Harvester Robot.”

The schools and grades listed for the students are those they were in when they participated in the Covestro PRSEF in March.

The Top 300 competitors were chosen from a pool of 2,537 applicants from 48 states, two territories, and one Department of Defense School. The applicants were evaluated by a panel of distinguished scientists, engineers, and educators. They were judged on the creativity and originality of their science fair project, their ability to engage in analysis of data, and their understanding of STEM principles as they relate to the real world.

“We are proud and delighted to have five participants from the Covestro Pittsburgh Regional Science & Engineering Fair included in the Broadcom MASTERS Top 300 competitors,” said Stu McNiell, Manager of STEM Programs for Carnegie Science Center. “These students completed creative and innovative projects that impressed the Covestro PRSEF judges, and it is exciting that their work also has been recognized by the initial judging panel for the prestigious Broadcom MASTERS competition.”

Top 300 students will receive a prize package with an award ribbon, a semifinalist certificate; a Broadcom MASTERS backpack; a Broadcom MASTERS decal; a specialized Invention Journal, courtesy of The Lemelson Foundation; a one-year subscription to Wolfram Mathematics software, courtesy of Wolfram Research; and a one-year family digital subscription to Science News magazine. To recognize the success that teachers play in the success of their students, each designated teacher will receive a Broadcom MASTERS tote bag and a one-year digital subscription to Science News.