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Doing Science

Alumni, Broadcom MASTERS

Summertime and isotopes, mechanical engineering, bioinformatics, machine learning

7:00AM, September 22, 2017
Doing Science
Emhyr Subramanian on a hike in the Rocky Mountains with glaciers in the background.

Emhyr Subramanian on a hike in the Rocky Mountains with glaciers in the background.


Summer is full of making new friends, staying up late, and doing science! That's what several Broadcom MASTERS 2016 finalists experienced this summer at STEM-themed camps and internships. These middle school students hiked in the Rocky Mountains, researched at university labs, created cellphone microscopes, and more. 

Several Broadcom MASTERS 2016 finalists were awarded these summer experiences as a result of their research and teamwork. Read on to see what they did this summer.

Emhyr Subramanian spent time at the Mountain Research Experience run by the University of Colorado Boulder, a one-week camp in the Rocky Mountains. The camp is located in an active research station, run by undergraduates, post-doc students, and scientists.

“We lived at 9,500 feet and frequently hiked past 12,000 feet, once to the Arapaho Glacier overlook,” Emhyr said. “We studied the mountainous ecosystem.”

He went geocaching in the wilderness and made cellphone microscopes out of dollar store laser pointers and poster putty.

This was an excellent real-world application of the statistics course I’m taking this summer using Broadcom MASTERS funding.

Emhyr enjoyed a study on stable isotopes he did at the camp. "Just by identifying isotopic concentrations and ratios, you can find what an organism ate, prove how the increase in CO2levels in the atmosphere is caused by greenhouse gas emissions by humans, study where all the water in a stream comes from, and much more,” he said.

“We also conducted statistical analysis on the size of organisms at different altitudes. This was an excellent real-world application of the statistics course I’m taking this summer using Broadcom MASTERS funding.”

Brendan Crotty built a bridge that could hold over 100 pounds.

Brendan Crotty went to the University of Kansas’ Engineering High School Project Discovery summer camp, a week-long, intensive experience for high school students where he was able to learn more about mechanical engineering.

Brendan loved getting an up-close view of the university classrooms and labs. He toured battery, drone-building, and formula car labs. “We saw the raw materials and machines they used to make them,” he said. “They had a full-size lab with manufacturing, materials, and different elements used to make different batteries.”

One of the hands-on project challenges involved building bridges using KNEX. “My bridge was able to hold more than 100 pounds, setting a record for that activity!” Brendan said.

Touring labs and attending lectures showed Brendan that “mechanical engineering isn’t just mechanical,” he said. “You can do a lot of different things with it, like programming, electronics, or robotics.”

Ananya Ganesh and Brendan Crotty waded into the Chesapeake Bay to caught wildlife in large nets, called seining.

Ananya Ganesh spent her summer shadowing a graduate student at Jefferson University bioinformatics lab in Philadelphia where she studied the effects of drugs on liver cells.

"It was a great experience to understand how a college research experience works," she said. "I learned how to run different statistical analyses and extract information from genome databases."

I have started to expect more of myself. My own bar has been raised!

Her internship covered the intersections of biology and technology. "This isn't something that is taught in schools, and I'm grateful to Broadcom MASTERS for this opportunity," Ananya said. "I have started to expect more of myself. My own bar has been raised!"

Cynthia Chen also interned this summer. She worked as a research intern at a radiology/imaging lab at Stanford University, with a postdoctoral scholar as her mentor.

She worked on projects ranging from generating heat maps to predicting diabetes blood glucose levels for pre-diabetic patients. Each project involved applying machine learning to biology.

"I was constantly writing a lot of code to accomplish my objectives," Cynthia said. "My mentor helped me whenever I encountered any problems, such as bugs in my code. The internship was very challenging at times, but I learned so much while I was there!"

12:15pm, September 20, 2017
Today, Broadcom Foundation and Society for Science & the Public announced that 30 of the nation's brightest middle school students have been named Broadcom MASTERS 2017 finalists.
9:43am, September 19, 2017

Why do children do the things they do? That’s something science journalist Laura Sanders explores in Growth Curve, which Science News introduced today as a redesigned, stand-alone blog that features the latest scientific discoveries related to parenting and child development.

7:00am, September 18, 2017

Like many science teachers, Natasha Schaefer doesn't like teaching out of a textbook. She knows her students will receive more valuable information with current scientific news. That's what makes Science News in High Schools so valuable to teachers like Natasha, a teacher at Woodcreek High School in Calfornia, and Chrissy O'Malley, a teacher at Carroll High School in Dayton, Ohio.

Students in Natasha Schaefer's class participate in the Science News for High School's White Out lab.
8:00am, September 14, 2017

Participating in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) is a life-changing experience. But in addition to experiencing the excitement of Intel ISEF 2017 and winning Best of Category awards, Davey Huang and Daniel Zhang received another life-changing opportunity when they won the Philip V. Streich Memorial Award to attend the London International Youth Science Forum (LIYSF). Below, they share what they learned from their trip across the pond. 

Intel ISEF alumni Daniel Zhang (left) and Davey Huang (right) traveled to the United Kingdom to participate in the London International Youth Science Forum.
8:00am, September 12, 2017
We’re proud to say that 14 out of the 20 Davidson Fellows announced this year are Society alumns! We asked them for their advice on being successful in STEM – here’s what a few of them had to say.
2:30pm, September 11, 2017
Earlier this summer, 2,499 Broadcom MASTERS entrants submitted applications to the national middle school science and engineering competition. The Society congratulates the entrants for their impressive and innovative research projects. From the entrant pool, the top 300 MASTERS were named.
12:09pm, September 6, 2017

Every year, Broadcom Foundation and Society for Science & the Public inspires young scientists, engineers and innovators to solve the grand challenges of the future through Broadcom MASTERS.

10:06am, August 29, 2017

Easton LaChappelle is the CEO and Founder of Unlimited Tomorrow, which uses low-cost 3D printing to build better, easy-to-use prosthetics. Modern prosthetics can be expensive, heavy, and hard to use, so Easton, an Intel ISEF 2012 and 2013 finalist, founded the company at 18. At 14, he made his first robotic hand out of LEGOs, fishing wire, and electrical tubing. Since then, his tech has advanced into a 3D printed, brain-powered robotic arm.

Easton LaChappelle uses 3D printing to build better prosthetics.
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