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Lauren Ejiaga

Women Top The Leaderboard

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For the first time in the event’s history, the Broadcom MASTERS® National STEM Competition saw all top five prizes awarded to girls. 2,348 eligible participants in all saw the best of the best rise to the occasion, and the five young women walked away with the top prizes to show their hard work had paid off.

The Society for Science & the Public, with the support of title sponsor and partner Broadcom Foundation, has been running the Broadcom MASTERS® since 2010. An acronym, MASTERS stands for “Math, Applied Science, Technology, and Engineering for Rising Stars. That’s exactly what its participants are. Each year, Society-affiliated STEM fairs across the United States nominate the top 10% of their 6th, 7th, and 8th grade participants to enter the prestigious competition.

Finalists were judged for their knowledge of STEM subjects and demonstration of 21st-century skills such as critical thinking, communication, creativity, collaborative skills, and teamwork. Let’s introduce you to the top 5 finalists!

Alaina Gassler

Hometown: West Grove, Pennsylvania

Gassler won the $25,000 Samueli Foundation Prize for finding a way to reduce blind spots in cars. She was inspired to solve this issue by her mother, who had concerns about driving her vehicle due to its large A-pillar design. “I started to think about how blind spots are a huge problem in all cars,” Alaina said, so she went out and created a prize-winning solution. To read more about her solution, click watch the video below.

Sidor Clare

Hometown: Sandy, Utah

This fourteen-year-old won the $10,000 Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation. Her project focused on developing bricks that can be made on Mars using the planet’s soil and a binding agent. Minimizing the excess building materials to the planet opens up new opportunities for space crews to develop sturdy and stable structures. Meet Sidor in the video below!

Anna Bergey

Hometown: Harleysville, Pennsylvania

Bergey won the $10,000 Lemelson Award for Invention for her Broadcom Masters® project. Her creation was a trap made of tinfoil and netting for the Spotted Lanternfly, an invasive species currently wreaking havoc and causing widespread damage to trees in Pennsylvania. “Spotted Lanternflies are most likely the largest economic threat facing Pennsylvania today, and thousands of them have invaded my family’s maple trees,” said Rachel. After observing the current recommended method of trapping these pests with yellow sticky bands around trees was flawed, she developed a new effective method. Meet Rachel and learn more about her project below!

Lauren Ejiaga

Hometown: New Orleans, Louisiana

Ejiaga was the proud recipient of the $10,000 STEM Talent Award for her research focusing on how changing levels of ultraviolet light from the sun due to ozone depletion have impacted plant growth and performance. Ejiaga also wanted to prove to anyone that fancy gadgets aren’t needed to prove a hypothesis; research coming to important conclusions like hers can be made in your own backyard with accessible, basic information. Learn more about Lauren below!

Alexis MacAvoy

Hometown: Hillsborough, California

MacAvoy is the recipient of the $10,000 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Advancement. MacAvoy’s project saw the creation of a water filter using carbon to remove heavy metals from industrial wastewater. More importantly, this filter was also low-cost and eco-friendly which makes it a user-friendly and accessible solution to wastewater filtration problems. Meet Alexis below!

The Advancing Women Engineers team applauds these five young women, and all of the other Broadcom MASTERS® participants, for their accomplishments thus far! To learn more about the Society for Science & the Public and their Broadcom MASTERS® program, click here.

Interested in additional programs that make the world of STEM accessible to youth? Click here.

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