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Meghna Behari Wins Marconi/Samueli Award For Innovation At The 2017 Broadcom MASTERS

Press Release

Broadcom Foundation and Society for Science & the Public on Tuesday announced the names of the award winners at the National Broadcom MASTERS Competition and Meghna Behari won the $10,000 Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation.

The 14-year-old middle school student from Sewickley, Pennsylvania, is among the 30 finalists, including top winner of the championship Faris Wald, and realizing current water testing methods are inefficient, she developed ‘Aquabot’, an automated testing device that can wirelessly collect and transmit data on water quality, the Society said in a statement.

The Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology, and Engineering for Rising Stars) is the United States’ premier science and engineering competition for middle school students. It is founded and produced by the Society for Science & the Public that 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.

This year’s finalists, including at least seven Indian Americans, competed in a rigorous completion that tested their STEM knowledge as well as their critical thinking communication, creativity, and collaboration skills. The 15-year-old Faris Irwin Walt, of Santa Fe, New Mexico, won the top award, the $25,000 Samueli Foundation Prize for his overall mastery of science and engineering as well as for his project on the Sun’s power to affect cyclones.

Altogether, the finalists took home $100,000 in awards and they were honored during an awards dinner held in Washington, DC. Pujita Tangirala of Los Gatos, California, won first place at the Science Award and another student Mithra Karamchedu of Portland, Oregon, is among the two recipients of the Rising Stars Award.

Tangirala’s project was about a green, low-cost adsorbent for the removal of dye from aqueous solutions, whereas Karamchedu’s research was on remote sensing the ablation or accumulation of a glacier by using fractal analysis on glacier images.

Another Arjun Moorthy won the Scott A. McGregor Leadership Award, for which he was selected by other finalists from their group based on their leadership abilities to represent their class as a speaker at the awards ceremony. Both Moorthy and Karamchedu are also among the five, who won the Team Award.

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