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Frequently Asked Questions about Broadcom MASTERS

Who can enter the Broadcom® MASTERS®?

SSP affiliated science & engineering fairs are provided the opportunity to nominate the top 10% of 6th, 7th and 8th grade student participants for this national competition through their judging procedures. Nominees then need to complete an online application for a chance to compete at the national level. 

What are the prizes?

Prizes are awarded at all levels:

  • Nominee:  The nomination is a great honor, as it designates the project as among the top 10% of middle school science fair projects in the US. 
  • Entrant: All nominees who enter are eligible to receive a T-shirt, bumper sticker and other prizes. Entrants join the SSP alumni network.
  • Semifinalist: Award ribbon, Science News family subscription, Broadcom MASTERS backpack, decal, and one year of Wolfram Mathematica+ software.
  • Semifinalist Teacher: Sally Ride career books courtesy of Deloitte.
  • Finalist: $500, an all expenses paid trip to Washington, DC for finalist and a parent or guardian and the opportunity to win more awards:
    • Rising Star Award: trip to attend Intel ISEF and represent the United States at the Broadcom MASTERS International Program 
    • 1st place STEM awards awarded in Science Technology, Engineering, and Math categories: $3,500 stipend for a summer camp of your choice and an iPad
    • 2nd place STEM awards awarded in Science Technology, Engineering, and Math categories: $2,500 stipend for a summer camp of your choice and an iPad
    • $7,500 Lemelson Award for Invention, sponsored by the Lemelson Foundation
    • $10,000 Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation 
    • $25,000 Samueli Foundation Prize in honor of overall STEM excellence
  • Finalist Teachers: Science News classroom subscription
  • Finalist Schools: $1,000 to use on STEM activities, courtesy of Broadcom Foundation

How do I get started?

Students in 6th, 7th or 8th grade interested in participating must first complete a science fair project and compete in an SSP affiliate fair. Most fairs take place between January and April. Go to the Find an SSP Affiliated Fair to find the affiliated fair in your area.

How do I get the online application?

When students are nominated through a SSP Affiliated Fair, they will receive a Broadcom MASTERS nominee packet that will include a log in ID and password to provide them with access to the online application system.  If you have been nominated and do not have this login information, contact your fair director or email us at masters@societyforscience.org. The 2016 application is now open through June 15th, 2016. 

Can students who have completed team research enter Broadcom MASTERS?

Yes, but each student must submit an individual application. The application requires students to answer questions independently, as the project description only covers a portion of the application, and our judges want to distinguish how each student contributed to the project. A significant portion of the application addresses STEM topics other than the project. It is possible that only one team member could become a Broadcom MASTERS semifinalist or finalist. A student from a team may enter even if his/her teammate does not.

What is an SSP Affiliated Fair?

An SSP Affiliated science fair is a science competition that is a member of Society for Science & the Public’s (SSP) fair network. These competitions exist in nearly every state in the U.S. and more than 70 countries, regions, and territories.  They are held at the local, regional, state and national level.  These fairs agree to follow the International Rules and in most cases, also send high school students to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.  To find a fair in your area, go to Find an SSP Affiliated Fair.  If your fair is not listed or there is not a fair in your area, and you are interested in affiliating for Broadcom MASTERS, please contact us at  masters@societyforscience.org

What do I do after I have won a Broadcom MASTERS Nomination?

Congratulations on this great honor! Tweet your #brcmmasters excitement! All Broadcom MASTERS nominees are eligible to complete an online application to compete to become a national Semifinalist or one of 30 Finalists named who will compete for a top award of $25,000. This online application includes essay questions about your science fair project and essay questions about understanding science and engineering in your everyday life.  For more information, go to For Nominees.

What is the 2016 schedule?

Feb 1 – June 15

Broadcom MASTERS online application open

September 6

SSP and Broadcom will announce semifinalists

September 20

SSP and Broadcom will announce finalists and award all expense paid trips to Washington, D.C.

Oct 27 - Nov 2

Broadcom MASTERS Finals week competition in Washington, D.C.

Broadcom MASTERS Science and Engineering Project Showcase will take place during Finals Week

If my school does not participate with an SSP Affiliate Fair, can I have my student just enter an application directly?

No, unfortunately your student is not able to enter directly.  However, if your school has a science fair and the coordinator would like to affiliate, please contact us at masters@societyforscience.org and we can discuss potentially affiliating your school science fair and providing the opportunity to name the top 10% of your students to the Broadcom MASTERS.  

If we currently are a SSP Affiliated Fair that sends high school students to Intel ISEF, can the middle school students participate in Broadcom MASTERS?  Is there a cost?

If you have not already done so, all you need to do is confirm with SSP that you want to participate in Broadcom MASTERS and provide us with some basic information including estimates of the number of middle school students that participate in your fair. There is no additional cost to add Broadcom MASTERS to your portfolio. If any of your nominees are selected as finalists, Broadcom MASTERS covers the cost of a student and ONE parent/guardian to attend the finals.

Is there a fee or cost for students to apply? And if a student is selected as a finalist, what costs does the fair, student, or parent incur? 

There is no fee for students to apply online. There is no cost for finalists plus ONE parent/guardian to attend the Broadcom MASTERS Finals in early October.

Want more information?

For more information on the Broadcom MASTERS please contact us at masters@societyforscience.org.

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