Three UW Wyoming Science Fair Students Advance to Final 300 of Broadcom MASTERS | News

Three UW Wyoming Science Fair Students Advance to Final 300 of Broadcom MASTERS | News

September 4, 2020

Asriyah Islam, a student at Laramie Middle School, advanced to the top 300 applicants of Broadcom MASTERS, the nation’s premier STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) competition for middle school students. (Erin Stoesz Photo)

For the first time ever, three Wyoming middle school students — all female — advanced to the top 300 applicants of Broadcom MASTERS, the nation’s premier STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) competition for middle school students.

The Broadcom MASTERS program seeks to inspire young scientists, engineers and innovators to solve the grand challenges of the 21st century.

“These three girls all exhibited wonderful science research at the 2020 Wyoming State Science Fair, which earned them the nomination to apply for Broadcom MASTERS,” says Erin Stoesz, the Wyoming State Science Fair (WSSF) director and an assistant lecturer in the University of Wyoming Science and Math Teaching Center. “To be named one of the top 300 in this national competition is a big deal. I believe this is the first year we’ve had three students receive this honor in a single year.” 

The WSSF, an outreach program at UW since 1998, opens otherwise inaccessible opportunities to Wyoming middle and high school students.

The three students, seventh graders at the time they conducted their research, listed by their schools and projects, are:

Carey Junior High School (Cheyenne) — Shelby Scout Hoobler, “Leave It to Beaver Dam Analogs … to Change Soil Moisture.”

Laramie Middle School — Asriyah Islam, “Effect of Silicic Acid on Growth, Productivity and Quality of Alfalfa”; and Padmalakshmi Ramesh, “Interaction of Light with Water Under Clear and Algal Bloom Conditions.”

The top 300 MASTERS are honored for their work with a $125 cash prize, through the Society for Science & the Public’s partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense as a member of the Defense STEM Education Consortium. Top 300 MASTERS also receive a prize package that includes an award ribbon; a top 300 MASTERS certificate of accomplishment; a Broadcom MASTERS backpack and 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.

The top 300 MASTERS include more girls than boys, with 52 percent females and 47 percent males selected from 3,476 applicants. The students come from 34 states, plus Puerto Rico, with 88 from California, 37 from Florida and 24 from Texas. Of the top 300, 167 students attend public schools; 90 come from private schools; 23 go to charter schools; 10 attend magnet schools and 10 are home-schooled.

girl standing with poster

Padmalakshmi Ramesh, a student at Laramie Middle School, advanced to the top 300 applicants of Broadcom MASTERS, the nation’s premier STEM competition for middle school students. (Erin Stoesz Photo)

Thirty finalists will be chosen from this select pool to compete for more than $100,000 in awards and prizes. Finalists will be announced Sept. 16.

This year, a record 15 WSSF competitors who received Broadcom MASTERS nominations completed their applications, Stoesz says. Entering these national competitions begins at the Wyoming regional science fairs and the WSSF.

Other Wyoming middle school students who completed their applications for the Broadcom MASTERS competition are:

Cody Middle School — Kassie Hansen.

Excel Academy Private School (Casper) — Cole Garretson and Ilyanna Haigler.

Home school (Lander) — Brighton Gould.

Lander Middle School — Grace Butler, Josey Johnson, Lara Robertson and Annika Wilmot.

Lingle-Fort Laramie Middle School — Isabella “Izzy” Spears and Nolan Spears.

Powell Middle School — Dexter Opps and Korbyn Warren.

For more information about Broadcom MASTERS, go to www.societyforscience.org/broadcom-masters.

For students interested in more information about the WSSF, go to www.uwyo.edu/sciencefair or email Stoesz at wyostatefair@gmail.com.

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