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Sept. 5, 2018 - Six Plano ISD Eighth Graders Named in Broadcom MASTERS "Top 300"

The Broadcom Foundation and the Society for Science & the Public announced the "Top 300" competitors in the eighth annual Broadcom MASTERS® — the nation's premier science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competition for middle school students. The Top 300 Broadcom MASTERS were selected from a pool of 2,537 applicants from 48 states, two US territories and one Department of Defense school. These competitors were evaluated by a panel of distinguished scientists, engineers and educators and judged on creativity and originality of their science fair project, their ability to engage in analysis of data and understanding of STEM principles as they relate to the real world.  

Congratulations to six “Top 300” Plano ISD eighth grade students.

  • Harshal Bharatia, Wilson Middle School, Intellitherm: So Cool, It’s Hot
  • Rithvik Ganesh, Rice Middle School, Diminishing Dementia: Piperine Derivatives as Inhibitors of the Angiotensin II Receptor, a Promising Drug Target Linked to Dementia Treatment
  • Charles Hou, Schimelpfenig Middle School, A Novel Approach to Increase the Efficiency of a Galvanic Cell Battery Using Graphene Nanoplatelets
  • Sophie Krajmalnik, Frankford Middle School, SANDRA (Serve and Data Results Analysis) Athletic Tech Glove
  • Sidhya Paddinti, Otto Middle School, AlzAlertPi: Facial Recognition Alert System for Alzheimer’s Patients
  • Neel Shanmugam, Otto Middle School, Feeling Feelings – Using Wearable Technology to Teach Autistic Children Emotion Recognition

This year’s Top 300 MASTERS include:

  • More females than males, with 152 girls (51 percent) and 145 boys (48 percent) selected from a record 2,537 applicants
  • Students from 35 states
  • Most populous states: 78 from California, 33 from Florida and 21 from Texas
  • Competitors come from a myriad of schools: 59.7 percent from public schools, 30.3 percent from private schools, 6.3 percent from charter schools, 3.3 percent from home schools and 0.3 percent (one student) from an online school.

Thirty of the 300 Broadcom MASTERS will be selected as finalists by a nationally ranked panel of scientists, engineers and educators on September 18, after which they will travel to Washington, D.C. to compete in a four-day STEM competition for more than $100,000 in awards and prizes. The finalists will participate in team challenges aimed at demonstrating their mastery of 21st Century skills in each of the STEM areas, meet with government officials and showcase their projects for the public on October 20. During this competition, the top 30 Broadcom MASTERS finalists will be competing for the coveted $25,000 Samueli Prize, the $20,000 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Advancement, the $10,000 Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation and the $7,500 Lemelson Award for Invention.

"Middle school is a critical time for all students. It is a time when they are beginning to explore all possibilities in front of them as they grow into adulthood. The Broadcom MASTERS is so important because we are engaging these young people and helping to cultivate their interest in science, technology, engineering and math," said Maya Ajmera, President & CEO of the Society for Science & the Public. "The Society congratulates all our Top 300 Broadcom MASTERS."