Georgia Hutchinson, a 13-year-old from Woodside, CA (Woodside Elementary School) has won the top prize in the Broadcom MASTERS, the nation’s premier STEM competition for middle school students, founded and produced by the Society for Science & the Public.
Georgia won the $25,000 Samueli Foundation Prize for her overall mastery of science and engineering as well as her project.
Georgia has invented an efficient and cost-effective solar power system, which relies on data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to determine where the sun will be at any date and time.
She built a computer model to illustrate how electricity from solar panels pointed at those spots would compare to electricity produced by fixed-position panels and created a computer program to control her tracker’s motor and the position of the solar panels.
Jack Albright, 14, Hillsborough, California, won the $20,000 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Advancement, which recognises the student whose work and performance shows the most promise in health-related fields. Albright developed a machine learning tool to predict the onset of mild and severe impacts from Alzheimer’s on cognitive abilities.
Jacqueline Prawira, 13, Mountain House, California, won the $10,000 Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation, an honour made possible by Samueli’s generous donation of his 2012 Marconi Society Prize Award. Prawira’s project explored how fibers from common plant-based materials found in garbage could improve the formation and strength of plastic, enabling people to make better use of materials that would otherwise be thrown away.
John Madland 14, Salem, Oregon, won the $7,500 Lemelson Award for Invention, awarded by The Lemelson Foundation to a young inventor creating promising solutions to real-world problems. Madland’s project involved creating a model showing that a magnetic shield set above the surface of Mars might, in the future, protect people on the planet’s surface.
About the Broadcom MASTERS
The Broadcom MASTERS encourages middle school students to translate their personal interests into a passion for STEM by participation in science fairs, which inspires them to continue their studies throughout high school and college and enter STEM careers. In addition, being judged on their project, the 30 finalists completed in hands-on challenges that tested their abilities in STEM, critical thinking, communication, creativity, and collaboration.