SSEF Wins at ISEF: High School scientists from around the world win nearly $8 million in awards, scholarships at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Society for Science announced that Robert Sansone, 17, of Fort Pierce, FL, won the $75,000 top award in the 2022 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (Regeneron ISEF), the world’s largest global high school competition, for a project that explored high-efficiency alternatives to induction motors. Other top prizes went to projects in the fields of energy storage, biomedical engineering and robotics. 

The top winners were honored during two hybrid award ceremonies, the first of which took place on the evening of May 12 and featured Special Award winners. The Grand Awards Ceremony was held on the morning of May 13 and featured the announcement of the top prize of $75,000. In total, awards valued at nearly U.S. $8 million were awarded to the finalists, who were evaluated based on their projects’ creativity, innovation and level of scientific inquiry. The competition featured 1,750 young scientists representing 49 states and 63 countries, regions and territories across the world. 

Robert Sansone won first place and received the $75,000 George D. Yancopoulos Innovator Award, named in honor of the pioneering drug discoverer and Regeneron co-founder, President and Chief Scientific Officer. Robert’s research improved the torque (force) and efficiency of synchronous reluctance motors, which are rugged, efficient, magnet-free alternatives to traditional induction motors. He hopes his research will lead to sustainable manufacturing of electric vehicles that do not require magnets made from strategically important rare-earth elements. 

Abdullah Al-Ghamdi, 17, of Dammam, Saudi Arabia, received one of two Regeneron Young Scientist Awards of $50,000 for modifying a metal-organic material so it could be used to both extract hydrogen from water and safely store it for clean energy production. Because the materials he added are relatively inexpensive, his work could significantly reduce the cost of hydrogen extraction and storage. 

Rishab Jain, 17, of Portland, Oregon, received the second Regeneron Young Scientist Award of $50,000 for developing an AI-based model to enable rapid and cost-effective production of drugs, such as recombinant COVID-19 vaccines, using synthetic DNA engineering. His model is trained to optimize the selection of genetic codes in DNA.

“Congratulations to the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair 2022 winners,” said Maya Ajmera, President and CEO of Society for Science and Publisher of Science News. “Every single Regeneron ISEF finalist has shown true dedication, passion, and grit. Their commitment to their research, and perseverance throughout the continued challenges of COVID-19 are an inspiration to us all. We are eager to watch the impact they are sure to make in their communities and chosen fields.” 

Regeneron ISEF provides a global stage for the best and brightest young scientists and engineers around the world. Founded on the belief that advances in science are key to solving global challenges, Regeneron ISEF supports and invests in the next generation of leading STEM thinkers who are generating ideas and acting as catalysts for the change needed to improve the well-being of all people and the planet.  

“These exceptionally talented Regeneron ISEF finalists are some of the brightest minds from around the world and our greatest hope for addressing global challenges in the future,” said George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., co-founder, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron. “Science is critical to the survival of our society, and these finalists have limitless potential to make a positive impact on the world. I congratulate them for their hard work and am eager to see what they achieve in their scientific journeys.” 

For the first time since 2019, ISEF finalists competed in person. More than half of the finalists gathered in Atlanta, GA at the Georgia World Congress Center and the remaining finalists participated virtually. 

Other top honors from the competition include: 

Napassorn Litchiowong, 17; Chris Tidtijumreonpon, 16; and Wattanapong Uttayota, 17, of Mueang Chiang Mai, Thailand received the Gordon E. Moore Award of $50,000 for Positive Outcomes for Future Generations for their creation of a faster and more accurate way to diagnose a type of liver fluke infection that can lead to bile duct cancer in humans. The team built and trained neural network software to identify the parasite’s eggs in microscopic fecal images with 98% accuracy and then developed a rapid screening questionnaire that was 91% accurate. 

Amon Schumann17, of Berlin, Germany, received the Craig R. Barrett Award for Innovation of $10,000 for developing balloon-borne, light-weight solar-powered instruments that transmit aerial images, telemetry and climate data to a website he created. His device can stay aloft for several weeks circumnavigating the Earth at a consistent altitude and greatly reduces instrumentation costs. 

Rebecca Cho17, of Jericho, New York, received the H. Robert Horvitz Prize for Fundamental Research of $10,000 for creating a geological model that incorporates the effects of changing landscapes, climate, sea level and erosion. Her model can be used to investigate ecological changes over 20 million years in the western U.S. and potentially predict the effects of climate change on the area’s biodiversity. 

Anika Puri17, of Chappaqua, New York, received the Peggy Scripps Award for Science Communication of $10,000 for her low-cost machine learning software that can analyze night-time infrared videos taken by a drone flown over the African wilderness to spot elephant poachers in real time. In tests, her $300 system worked with 91% accuracy, a fourfold improvement over current systems, without needing high-resolution thermal cameras that can cost up to $10,000. 

More information about the top winners and visual assets can be found at  

Asmi Kumar, 18, of Milton, Georgia; Emirhan Kurtulus, 18, of Istanbul, Turkey; and Joshua Shunk, 17, of Gilbert, Arizona received the Dudley R. Herschbach SIYSS Award, which provides the finalists with an all-expense paid trip to attend the Stockholm International Youth Science Seminar, which includes attendance at the Nobel Prize Ceremonies in Stockholm, Sweden. 

Varun Madan, 17, of Orlando, Florida; and Saan Cern Yong, 16, and Shen Ze Yeoh, 15, both of Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, received the EU Contest for Young Scientists Award, which is presented to two projects that will represent Regeneron ISEF at the EU Contest for Young Scientists to be held in Leiden, Netherlands, September 12-18, 2022.   

For a full list of finalists who won awards, please visit HERE and HERE.  


By | Uncategorized | No Comments

The Regeneron Science Talent Search (Regeneron STS), a program of Society for Science, is the nation’s
most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. Alumni of STS have made
extraordinary contributions to science and hold more than 100 of the world’s most distinguished science
and math honors, including the Nobel Prize and the National Medal of Science.
Each year, 300 Regeneron STS scholars and their schools are recognized. From that select pool of
scholars, 40 student finalists are invited to participate in final judging, display their work to the public,
meet with notable scientists and compete for awards, including the top award of $250,000

Boca Raton                               Florida Atlantic University High School
                                                    Willis, Devin, 18
                                                    SlideMap: A Flexure Based Approach to Automating Digital Pathology Cancer
Fort Lauderdale                      Pine Crest School
                                                   El‐Sharif, Maya Wael, 17
                                                   Understanding the Regulation of Food Consumption in Drosophila melanogaster
Miami                                       Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School
                                                   Finger, Tali, 18
                                                   A Genomic‐Based Investigation of Repetitive Behaviors Across Four
                                                   Neurodevelopmental Disorders Using a Machine Learning Approach
                                                  Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School
                                                  Odzer, Michael Noah, 18
                                                  Identifying and Overcoming Environmental Factors Affecting the use of
                                                  Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) in Wildlife Studies of Chelonia mydas
Ocala                                        Vanguard High School
                                                  Shar, Andy, 15
                                                  Novel Fabrication and Implementation of Copper and Silver Plasmonic
                                                  Nanostructure Coated Foil as a Spectrally Selective Absorber in Highly Efficient
                                                  Solar Steam Generation Under One Sun Illumination
Oviedo                                     Oviedo High School
                                                  Santra, Laboni, 17
                                                  Optimized 3D‐Printed Microneedle Devices for the Delivery of New Therapeutics
                                                  to Citrus Phloem Tissue
Plantation                               American Heritage School
                                                   Mishra, Roshni, 18
                                                   Expression of Anti‐Neurodegeneration Genes in Mutant Caenorhabditis elegans
                                                   Using CRISPR‐Cas9 Improves Behavior Associated with Alzheimer’s Disease


By | Broadcom Masters | No Comments

CONGRATULATIONS! Florida Finalists

Society for Science & the Public and Broadcom Foundation are proud to announce the 30 finalists in the 2020 Broadcom MASTERS® — the nation’s premier STEM competition for middle school students. The finalists will compete in the first ever Virtual Broadcom MASTERS from October 16-21, participating in team challenges in addition to being judged on their science research projects.
The finalists will participate in a private judging process with a panel of top scientists. In addition to being judged on their research projects, they will engage in team challenges where they will be judged on their mastery of critical thinking, communication, creativity and collaboration in each of the STEM areas.
You can meet these finalists virtually on October 20th by registering here:

Virtual Showcase

The Broadcom MASTERS Science and Engineering Project Showcase will open on October 20 at 10 a.m. EDT and will be available to the public through November 4. The finalists will be at their booths and able to respond to questions from 2-4 p.m. EDT on October 20.

The Society will be providing educational materials for educators interested in bringing students to the exhibit for a digital field trip. Visitors to the exhibit will also have an opportunity to visit the STEM Experiential Hall where you can access interactive and immersive STEM experiences.

Please plan on tuning into watch the Winners Award Ceremony on October 21 at 7pm EDT and see who brings home the $25,000 Samueli Foundation Prize.
The finalists include 14 girls and 16 boys covering 16 states and representing 29 schools. All finalists receive a $500 cash award and will compete for over $100,000 in prizes.

Four of these Finalists are from Florida!

Amelia Curran
8th Grade, Herbert C. Hoover Middle School
Indialantic, Florida
Comparing the Efficiency, Free Fatty Acid Percentage, and Carbon Dioxide Emissions of Waste Vegetable Oil and Ethiopian Mustard (Brassica carinata) Biodiesels

Elise Rina
8th Grade, Lake Eola Charter School
Orlando, Florida
Access Granted

Logan Silvea
7th Grade, Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy
Melbourne, Florida
Correlation Between Interocular Signal Delay and Luminosity, Measured Through the Perceived Intensity of the Pulfrich Effect, Noting the Impact of Ocular Dominance (2 Year Study – Psychological Adaptations and Optical Illusions

Zoe Weissman
8th Grade, American Heritage School
Plantation, Florida
Testing Phytochemicals for Antinocicepetive Properties in Both Female and Male Drosophila melanogaster in Order to Discover a Natural Painkiller and Reduce Bias in the Drug Industry


Get to know more about each finalist here Broadcom 2020 Florida Finalists

65th State Science and Engineering Fair (SSEF) of Florida – Suspended Due to Corona Virus

By | ISEF, Science, Uncategorized | No Comments

We have made the decision to suspend this year’s 65th State Science and Engineering Fair (SSEF) of Florida. 

Under current global and regional health circumstances as a result of the COVID-19 viral epidemic, we have determined that it is not in the best interests of the public health of Florida’s citizens to conduct this year’s SSEF.  The risks to more than 950 student finalists, their families, schools, communities, and the more than 800 adult volunteers that support the event, are far too great to justify this year’s SSEF.  This event brings together representatives of every age and every region of the state, and the close person-to-person contact during the 3-day event provides for unimpeded viral transmission.

We appreciate all of the hard work that the student finalists, teachers, mentors, and others have accomplished this year.  The regional science and engineering fairs of Florida were all a great success and we congratulate all the competitors and the winners who received a bid for the 65th SSEF of Florida.

We know that most students and adults will be disappointed with our decision, but we trust everyone will understand that it was made with the best interests of our population in mind.

Bill Herschleb, Chair, Florida Foundation for Future Scientists

2020 Fair Information – Preparing for the 2020 Event!

By | Science | No Comments

The 2020 State Science and Engineering Fair (SSEF) of Florida will be held March 24th—26th at The RP Funding Center in Lakeland, Florida. This year’s Fair will exhibit 875+ projects with over 950 Finalists in Junior (grades 6-8) and
Senior Sections (grades 9-12).



Only Regional Fair Directors, or their Official Designee, are permitted to register all the Finalists for their Region. Registration Packets will be available at The RP Funding Center. Registration Packets contain materials for students to set up their projects, name tags, certificates, schedules, and maps.



Any student not traveling with his/her Region’s Delegation must make arrangements to meet the Regional Fair Director to pick up registration materials. No packets will be opened to remove individual materials for those who are not with their Region Delegation. Students will NOT be allowed to set up their projects until the Region has registered.


See all information HERE

2019 Fair Information – Preparing for the 2019 Event!

By | Science | No Comments

WELCOME! Inside this issue: The 2019 State Science and Engineering Fair (SSEF) of Florida will be held March 26th—28th at The RP Funding Center in Lakeland, Florida. This year’s Fair will exhibit 820+ projects with over 875 Finalists in Junior (grades 6-8) and Senior Sections (grades 9-12).


ARRIVAL/REGISTRATION Only Regional Fair Directors, or their Official Designee, are permitted to register all the Finalists for their Region. Registration Packets will be available at The RP Funding Center. Registration Packets contain materials for students to set up their projects, name tags, certificates, schedules, and maps.


ATTENTION PARENTS: Any student not traveling with his/her Region’s Delegation must make arrangements to meet the Regional Fair Director to pick up registration materials. No packets will be opened to remove individual materials for those who are not with their Region Delegation. Students will NOT be allowed to set up their projects until the Region has registered. PARKING There will be no charge for parking at the RP Funding Center on Tuesday or Wednesday. There will be a charge of $10.00 for the Grand Awards Ceremony guests (and $20.00 for buses that park).


SCIENTIFIC REVIEW PROCESS More than 100 members of the Scientific Review Committee (SRC) met March 8th to review and certify the entry materials for the 2019 SSEF. ALL students must have their original protocol papers and log books in their possession for SRC and/or Project Set Up. The Fair Director will receive a packet which contains the P r o j e c t Certification Cards and the Certified Abstracts for each student who has been approved to display his/her project. The certified abstract must be displayed on the left side of the display either on the display board (leave a space) or in a frame that does not have glass. The Project Certification Card must be left on the display for Display & Safety approval. Students NOT receiving these items will have to go to SRC with their Fair Director (Hollingsworth A & B). Students who need to provide additional documentation for their research were notified by the Regional Director. Students with needed corrections will proceed directly to the SRC Staging Room (Hollingsworth A & B) upon arrival. Do not send any paperwork to the FFFS Office. Once students have corrected the discrepancies they will be allowed to set up their project.


See all information HERE

Thirty of the Nation’s Top Middle School STEM Students Named 2018 Broadcom MASTERS Finalists

By | Broadcom Masters | No Comments

WASHINGTON, DC – Sept. 18, 2018– Broadcom Foundation and Society for Science & the Public today announced the 30 finalists in the 8th annual Broadcom MASTERS®, the nation’s premier Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) middle school competition. 

The finalists will travel to Washington, DC from October 19-23 where they will participate in a rigorous competition that leverages Project-based Learning to test and demonstrate their mastery of 21st Century skills of critical thinking, communication, creativity and collaboration in each of the STEM areas.

Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering for Rising Stars), a program founded and produced by the Society for Science & the Public, seeks to inspire young scientists, engineers and innovators who will solve the grand challenges of the future.  In addition to participating in team challenges, the finalists will meet with government officials and showcase their projects for the public during a free event at the National Geographic Society on October 20 from 1-4pm.  Winners will be named during an awards ceremony on October 23 at the Carnegie Institution for Science.

“Congratulations to the 2018 Broadcom MASTERS Finalists – and to every young scientist, engineer and mathematician who has competed in state and regional science fairs this year,” said Paula Golden, President of the Broadcom Foundation. “It is exciting to see so many young people showing their passion for STEM subjects early through competitions like the Broadcom MASTERS. By cultivating their STEM talents in middle school, students will continue in STEM fields in high school and college and become the scientists, engineers and innovators of the future.”

“Science competitions like the Broadcom MASTERS are critical to the STEM talent pipeline,” said Maya Ajmera, President & CEO of the Society for Science & the Public and Publisher of Science News. “I applaud all the impressive young people who have been named finalists.”

2018 Broadcom MASTERS Fast Facts:

  • Nearly the same number of female (14) and male (16) students
  • Students from 28 schools, across 14 states
  • Most populous states: nine from California, four from Florida, three from Oregon and Georgia, two from Kentucky 
  • States with one finalist: Arizona, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Utah
  • Finalists were selected by a panel of distinguished scientists and engineers from a record number of 2,537 applicants in 35 states.
  • Finalist projects cover multiple disciplines of science, including environmental and earth science, medicine and health science, electrical and mechanical engineering, microbiology, biochemistry, bioengineering, computer science, software engineering, behavioral and social sciences, energy and sustainability, animal science, chemistry and plant science.
  • Finalists’ independent research projects include a range of topics such as
    • Effect of radiation on bacteria
    • Using radio frequency identification technology for school safety
    • Designing a dual axis solar tracker
    • Using machine learning to forecast the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease
    • Detecting concussions in youth sports

A full list of the finalists can be viewed here:

The Broadcom MASTERS is the only middle school STEM competition that leverages Society-affiliated science fairs as a crucial component of the STEM talent pipeline. Only the top 10 percent of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade projects entered into Society-affiliated fairs around the country are eligible to apply.

All finalists receive a $500 cash award and an all-expense paid trip to Washington, DC, for the competition, where they will compete for the following awards:

  • $25,000 Samueli Foundation Prize, a gift of Susan and Henry Samueli, Co-Founder of Broadcom Corporation, Chairman of the Broadcom Foundation, and Chief Technical Officer of Broadcom Limited, for the student who demonstrates mastery of all STEM fields, and exemplifies how research, innovation and teamwork come together to impact our everyday lives.
  • $20,000 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Advancement, which recognizes the student whose work and performance shows the most promise in health-related fields.
  • $10,000 Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation, awarded to a student who demonstrates both vision and promise as an innovator.
  • $7,500 Lemelson Award for Invention, awarded by The Lemelson Foundation to a young inventor creating promising solutions to real-world problems.
  • First and Second Place Awards issued in each category of STEM of $3,500 or $2,500, respectively, to be used toward a STEM summer camp experience, plus an iPad, with top awards in math from Robert John Floe, President Floe Financial Partners.
  • Two Rising Stars in sixth or seventh grade will be named as delegates to represent the U.S. at the 2019 Broadcom MASTERS International next spring in Phoenix. Delegates will attend the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the world’s largest international high school science fair.

Broadcom MASTERS recognizes finalists’ science teachers with a one-year classroom subscription to Science News magazine and awards the finalists’ schools with $1,000 each to use toward STEM activities.



Abraham Lincoln

Alachua Region Science and Engineering Fair State Science and Engineering Fair of Florida — Ying Scholars


Developing a Device to Predict Autistic Meltdowns Using Arduino & MS Azure

Project Background: Asmi knows a boy whose sister has autism. Autism includes a range of conditions. People with autism often have problems with social skills. Many of also have repetitive behaviors or problems with communication. Although some people with autism can hold jobs and function at a high level, other people have more serious problems. The sister of the boy Asmi knows has serious disabilities. Sometimes the girl and other people with autism have meltdowns. They lose control when they become overwhelmed. Asmi wanted to help. Her device aims to warn people when one of those meltdowns might occur. With a bit of warning, family members and caregivers could perhaps take action to help protect someone.


Tactics and Results: Asmi built and programmed a device that tracks users’ heart rates. As someone wears it on their wrist, the device sends data to a web-based and mobile program. The program calculates the beats per minute. It also calculates additional statistics dealing with the intervals and peaks as the heartbeat rate changes. The program then compares those data to the “normal” heart rate range for each individual user. If the heartbeats begin to increase too rapidly in a short time, or if they

soar or dip abnormally, the program sends out a notification through the mobile app. That warns a parent or caregiver of a potential meltdown. Testing with peers, publicly available data and simulated data showed that the device could accurately detect and predict abnormal heartbeat rates. Asmi hopes to work with university researchers to get more data on autistic  children. That way she can keep working to improve her device.


Other Interests: “The music a piano can create is beautiful and so relaxing,” says Asmi. She has been playing for more than eight years. She also enjoys singing in the choir and playing basketball with friends. “It’s a perfect activity for anyone to have fun!” she says. Beyond that, Asmi considers math her “greatest passion.” She often hosts summer math circles at a neighborhood clubhouse. And she tutors other students in her local area.  Asmi plans to become a computer scientist.



Lake Highland Preparatory School

Dr. Nelson Ying-Orange County Science Exposition and State Science and Engineering Fair of Florida — Ying Scholars


Field Testing of Feeding Bacterium Bifidobacterium infantis (Found in a Human Gut Probiotic) in Order to Improve Honey Bee Health


Project Background: Honey bees play a huge role as pollinators. They fertilize many of the plants farmers grow, which helps provide us with fruits and vegetables. Seventy years ago the United States had about six million managed beehives. Today fewer than three million remain. The rapid decline needs to stop, Varun says. “Otherwise, our most prized pollinators could go extinct.” A university professor’s talk taught him about immune system problems faced by many bees. Varun wondered whether supplemental feeding of a helpful gut bacterium could help honey bees. He decided to find out — even if it meant a bit of discomfort.  “I was stung 42 times, once even in my bellybutton!” he says.


Tactics and Results: Varun used a type of bacteria called Bifidobacterium infantis (B. infantis). It helps keep people’s digestive  tracts healthy. Some research suggests it mayalso help with the immune system. Varun fed sugar solutions with high and low doses of the bacteria to bees in two hives each at a local apiary. He fed plain sugar solution to a fifth hive that was his control group. Varun replenished the solutions every two weeks for 6 weeks. Afterward, he collected data from each hive. He counted the eggs and young in five frames from each hive. He weighed each hive’s honey. At set intervals, he tallied bees exiting each

hive to forage, and he calculated totals for the number of bees and brood in each hive. “We clearly had a winner,” Varun reports. “The low dose-fed hives outperformed high dose and sugar solution-fed hives in three of the four study parameters.” In his view, the bacteria have  the potential to be an effective tool for enhancing honey bee health.


Other Interests: Varun loves doing theatre. “It has taught me creativity, patience, hard work and dedication throughout many rigorous rehearsals and performances,” he says. He’s also in choir and enjoys Bollywood dance. He plays several instruments too, including the piano, violin, guitar and drums. As an athlete, he’s active in tennis and track. Varun plans to become an environmental engineer. “This job can change the world in such great ways,” he says.



Surfside Middle School

Florida Three Rivers Regional Science and Engineering Fair


Operation Turtle Grass: Exploring the Relationship Between Turbidity & Thalassia testudinum in St. Andrew Bay & Grand Lagoon


Project Background: “We live on a lagoon near the Gulf of Mexico, and fish is in our diet,” Lillian says. “I chose my seagrass project partly because healthy fish require healthy seagrass.” Studies have shown that the blade width of turtle grass is an indicator of its health. Lillian wondered how the water’s turbidity might affect the turtle grass’s health. Turbidity deals with how cloudy or hazy water is, and soil runoff or other pollution can increase turbidity. Lillian focused on a specific type of turtle grass growing in a bay near her hometown.  The bay is an estuary – a transition zone between a river and a marine environment.


Tactics and Results: Lillian collected water samples from four places in St. Andrew Bay in Florida. To measure turbidity, she compared the water’s observed turbidity in vials to calibrated samples. She also described the appearance of the water at each spot. Water from the location with the highest turbidity was “dark and murky,” Lillian notes. “In fact, mud residue formed on my skin when collecting samples there.” That spot was near a bridge and concentrated human development, she adds. Lillian also carefully cut more than 1,900 turtle grass blades from her sampling spots. Back at home, she counted and logged the number of healthy blade samples from each location versus ones that were damaged or dead. She also used a ruler to measure the width of each blade at its base. She recorded all the turtle grass data on a spreadsheet. Then, she compared the average blade widths with the turbidity levels at each location. The more turbid the water was, the lower the average blade width was, Lillian found.


Other Interests: “I love baton twirling because I get very excited and filled with joy when I finally master a trick like the vertical  one-turn,” Lillian says. She also enjoys dance, especially lyrical and contemporary styles. She shines on stage too. She recently played Gertrude McFuzz in “Seussical the Musical, Jr.” Her other activities include choir, yearbook and student council. Lillian hopes to become an architect. “Architecture will bring together my love of design, art and color,” she says.



Saint Rose of Lima Catholic School

South Florida Science and Engineering Fair


Paraplegics Achieving Stability in the Vertical Wind Tunnel


Project Background: People who are paraplegics can’t control their legs and lower bodies. Yet many of them still enjoy adventures. Gabriela learned that when she met Jessika and Rey. Both have paraplegia, yet they love assisted skydiving outdoors. “They say they feel free!” Gabriela says. Gabriela enjoys indoor skydiving in a vertical wind tunnel and wanted to help paraplegics to learn that sport as well. However, there was a problem. To “catch the wind,” indoor skydivers need to keep their hips down, arms out in front, and legs bent up behind them. How could paraplegics do that, if they couldn’t control their legs?

Gabriela decided to find a way.


Tactics and Results: Gabriela built models for two devices to keep a paraplegic person’s legs in the proper position for indoor skydiving. One model holds the ankles in place.  The other is a right-angle pad for the knees. For the ankle holder’s materials, she used Oodles Monster Jumbo noodle foam and industrial strength Velcro. Those materials would not hurt a person’s skin. Yet they would be strong enough to hold the ankles 30.48 centimeters (12 inches) apart and prevent any flapping. To make the knee pad, Gabriela used computer design software and a 3D printer with plastic “ink.” Next came field testing at an indoor skydiving center. A professional skydiver and Gabriela both tested the models three times inside the wind tunnel. “Finally, two paraplegic individuals tested the models,” she reports. “It was a success!” Gabriela has since been working another issue for on a way to accommodate a paraplegic’s urine catheter better. That wasn’t a problem in the trials. Nonetheless, she says, “I learned from doing my project that ideas are never final.”


Other Interests: In addition to indoor sky diving, Gabriela’s school and community activities include Girl Scouts, art club, and yearbook. Biking, reading and traveling are other favorite pastimes, as well as playing with her dog Amber. “I am interested in nanosystems engineering for a career, Gabriela says. She likes that it has applications in a wide range of fields. For now, she works with computer design software and makes things at a nearby maker lab.


CONGRATULATIONS FLORIDA! Broadcom MASTERS Announces the Top 300 Middle School Students in National STEM Competition

By | Broadcom Masters | No Comments

Broadcom MASTERS® (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering for Rising Stars), a program of Society for Science & the Public, is the premier middle school science and engineering fair competition, inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers and innovators who will solve the grand challenges of the 21st century and beyond. We believe middle school is a critical time when young people identify their personal passion, and if they find STEM elements, they can be inspired to follow their passion by taking STEM courses in high school.

The Top 300 MASTERS are honored for their work with a prize package that includes an award ribbon, semifinalist certificate of accomplishment, Broadcom MASTERS backpack, a Broadcom MASTERS decal, a one-year family digital subscription to Science News magazine, an Inventor’s Notebook, courtesy of The Lemelson Foundation, a one-year subscription to Wolfram Mathematica software, courtesy of Wolfram Research and a special prize from Jeff Glassman, CEO of Covington Capital Management. In recognition of the role that teachers play in the success of their students, each Top 300 MASTERS’ designated teacher also will receive a Broadcom MASTERS tote bag, a one-year digital subscription to Science News magazine, and a special edition booklet of Invention and Innovation articles, courtesy of The Lemelson Foundation.

The Top 300 MASTERS include more females than males with 152 girls and 145 boys selected from a record 2,537 applicants. The students come from 35 states, with 78 from California, 33 from Florida and 21 from Texas.



USFL05 Canterbury School Jason Nanda (6th Grade) Fort Myers, Florida

Does Transmission Efficiency Correlate with Long-Term Durability in Worm Gear Reducers?


USFL07 Okaloosa STEMM Academy Gabriel Lerner-Sperow (7th Grade)*Niceville, Florida

Fueling the Future: Hydrogen Production Yield and Rate Dependent upon Aluminum Surface Area


USFL08 Abraham Lincoln Middle School Anjana Balachandar (8th Grade)*Gainesville, Florida

The Behavior of Bent Backbones


USFL08 Abraham Lincoln Middle School Janani Kumaran (8th Grade)*Gainesville, Florida

Integrated Control of the Invasive Aquatic Plant Hydrilla Using Snails and a Plant Growth Regulator (Continuation Project: Year 2)


USFL08 Abraham Lincoln Middle School Akash Verma (7th Grade)*Gainesville, Florida

Boosting Cognitive Skills: An EEG Study


USFL09 Canterbury School Maya Chandar (8th Grade)*Fort Myers, Florida

The Effect of Laser Beams on the Cellular Respiration and ATP Production in Zophobas morio (A Novel 3rd Year Study)


USFL09 American Heritage School Christian Custodio (8th Grade) Coral Springs, Florida Florida

Analysis of Monotherapy and Combination Therapy on Helicobacter felis


USFL09 American Heritage School Rohan Kumar (8th Grade) Miramar, Florida

Subculturing Coccolithophores with Iron Fertilization to Sequester Carbon Dioxide as a Potential Solution to Global Warming


USFL09 Crystal Lake Middle School Khushi Desai (7th Grade) Coral Springs, Florida

Effect of Colloidal Solution Turbidity on Optimum Consumption of Metal-Based Coagulant in Clarification of Colloidal Particles from Solution


USFL10 Julia Landon College Preparatory and Leadership Development School Chace Caven (7th Grade)*Jacksonville, Florida

Designing Ligands that Dock with Mutated LRRK2 Proteins as a Potential Intervention for Parkinson’s Disease


USFL10 Julia Landon College Preparatory and Leadership Development School Nicole Stover (8th Grade)*Jacksonville, Florida

The Effect of Dissolved Oxygen Augmentation on the Kratky Non-Circulating Method of Hydroponic Tomato Cultivation


USFL14 Ronald McNair Magnet Middle School Kai Aravena (8th Grade) Melbourne, Florida

The Safest Catcher’s Mask


USFL15 Saint Rose of Lima Catholic School Gabriela Muriel (8th Grade) Aventura, Florida

Paraplegics Achieving Stability in the Vertical Wind Tunnel


USFL15 John I. Smith K–8 Center Carina Mariaca (8th Grade) Doral, Florida

Squeeze the Green


USFL17 Lake Highland Preparatory School Varun Madan (8th Grade)*Orlando, Florida

Field Testing of Feeding Bacterium Bifidobacterium infantis (Found in a Human Gut Probiotic) in Order to Improve Honey Bee Health


USFL17 Orange County Preparatory Academy Mikayla Simmons (8th Grade) Orlando, Florida

The Number 7 May Prove to be Lucky with Cancer


USFL19 Covenant Christian School Colin Campbell (8th Grade) Panama City, Florida

The Effect of In-Water Application of Vibration on the Posterior Regeneration of Dugesia tigrina


USFL19 Surfside Middle School Lillian Mefford (8th Grade) Panama City Beach, Florida

Operation Turtle Grass: Exploring the Relationship Between Turbidity and Thalassia testudinum in St. Andrew Bay and Grand Lagoon


USFL21 Fruit Cove Middle School Lourdes McKay (8th Grade) St. Johns, Florida

Mythbusting: Does Coffee Roast Style Affect Caffeine Concentrations?


USFL21 Liberty Pines Academy Hannah Rivkin (7th Grade) St Augustine, Florida

Which Airfoil Type Can Achieve the Greatest Angle of Attack (CL Max) Without Losing Lift?


USFL23 Sanford Middle School Deepika Kannan (8th Grade)*Oviedo, Florida

Li-fi Versus Wi-fi: Factors Affecting Data Transmission Across Electromagnetic



USFL23 Sanford Middle School Annika Vaidyanathan (8th Grade)*Oviedo, Florida

The Sweet Sound of Silence: A New Design for Quieter Vent and Fan Grilles (Year 2 Study)


USFL23 Sanford Middle School Kyra Henriques (7th Grade)  Sanford, Florida

Testing the Antimicrobial Properties of Herbs and Spices on Aerobic Microbes in Milk


USFL23 Seminole Science Charter School Timo Horn (6th Grade) Winter Park, Florida

Performance Difference Between Lithium-Based Automotive Greases


USFL29 American Heritage School of Boca Delray Ayden Lapon (8th Grade) Delray Beach, Florida

Does Bacteria Show Aggressive and Territorial Behavior?


USFL29 The Weiss School Benjamin Barron (8th Grade) Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

Coronary Stent Design and Optimization


USFL30 Charles S. Rushe Middle School Hailey Mahadeen (8th Grade) Lutz, Florida



USFL31 Gifford Middle School Zachary Hessler (7th Grade)*Vero Beach, Florida

SOS 2: See Our Silence; An Optical Approach to Controlling Digital Noise Cancellation


USFL31 Storm Grove Middle School Lucero Long (8th Grade)*Vero Beach, Florida

Do You Get My Drift? The Effect of Drift Reduction Agent on Spray Patterns


USFL50 Howard Middle School Vivek Sandrapaty (7th Grade)*Ocala, Florida

Take a Dive into the Future of Water Safety: An Idea for a Small Electronic Device that May Prevent Accidental Drowning in Swimming Pools


USFL50 Lawton Chiles Middle School Varsha Naga (8th Grade)*Oviedo, Florida

Rush to Green Gold: Comparative Efficiency of Biofuel Processed from Green Sources versus Fossil Fuels


USFL50Pine Ridge Middle School Benno Hermans (7th Grade) Naples, Florida



USFL50 West Shore Junior/Senior High School Kaylee Krininger (8th Grade) Melbourne, Florida  Determining if a Method Using Chemical and Gelid Temperature Cell Lysis can Most Effectively Decellularize Bos taurus Renal Tissue while Preserving the Extracellular Matrix Scaffolding and Other Intracellular Contents (A Second Year Study)