Girls Won All Five Top Prizes in National STEM Contest for Middle Schoolers

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As the saying goes, “The future is female.” And that trend was certainly on display recently at the 2019 Broadcom MASTERS competition. The competition, “Math, Applied Science, Technology, and Engineering for Rising Stars,” highlights very bright middle-schoolers and is run by the Society for Science & the Public.

This year, girls won all of the top five prizes awarded at the competition in Washington, D.C. What makes it even more extraordinary is that the five winners were out of a total pool of 2,348 applicants from 47 states. A total of 18 boys and 12 girls were then brought to D.C. to take part in the competition.

While in D.C., the middle-schoolers were given STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) projects to work on in teams. The youngsters were judged on leadership, teamwork, problem solving, and communication. The last 20% of their score was based on the science projects that the kids had applied to the competition with. The panel of judges included engineers, scientists, and educators.

The five winners were:

The Samueli Foundation Prize: $25,000
Alaina Gassler, Improving Automobile Safety by Removing Blindspots

Lemelson Award for Invention: $10,000
Rachel Bergey, Spotted Lanternflies: Stick’em or Trick’em

Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation: $10,000
Sidor Clare, Bound and Bricked

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Advancement: $10,000
Alexis MacAvoy, Designing Efficient, Low-Cost, Eco-Friendly Activated Carbon for Removal of Heavy Metals from Water

STEM Talent Award, sponsored by DoD STEM: $10,000
Lauren Ejiaga, Ozone Depletion: How it Affects Us

Maya Ajmera, president and CEO of the Society for Science & the Public, said,”We are just so thrilled that the top five winners were girls this year. This is the first time in our history that it was a sweep for girls. It’s also the first time in our history that we had more girl finalists than boy finalists.”

Way to go ladies! Keep your eye on these kids, because they’re going places.