SDIRC Students Place in Top 300 for National STEM Competition

SDIRC Students Place in Top 300 for National STEM Competition
Posted on 09/11/2018


Contact Cristen Maddux

Telephone 772-564-5527




September 11, 2018


Vero Beach, FL, September 11, 2018—School District of Indian River County, in partnership with The Education Foundation of Indian River County, is proud to announce that Lucero Long, 9th grader at Vero Beach High School, and Zachary Hessler, 8th grader at Gifford Middle School were selected as top 300 competitors in the 8th annual Broadcom Master National STEM Competition. Both students applied for this honor along with 2,537 other students, and were selected to be in an elite group of 300. The top 30 finalists will be announced September 18th.

"We are proud of the success realized by these remarkable young scholars," said SDIRC School Board Chairman, Shawn Frost. "This demonstrates what is possible when a district supports science with the help of partners such as The Education Foundation, who puts on the Regional Science Fair. This is an accomplishment worthy of acknowledging. Congratulations, to the students and all who supported them in this effort. We look forward to more of the same as the emphasis on STEM continues to bear fruit."

Vero Beach High School Principal, Shawn O'Keefe, added, "I am very proud of freshman Lucy Long for the recognition she has received after sharing her STEM project on the national scale. She has a bright future ahead of her!"

Melissa Sleeper, Zachary Hessler's science teacher, said, "Zach is naturally inquisitive. His sense of wonder coupled with his strong work ethic, make him an outstanding science student. I am pleased he is getting recognition for all his hard work."

Lucero Long with her winning projec
Lucero Long with her winning project, "Do You Get My Drift? The Effect of Drift Reduction Agent on Spray Patterns."
Zachary Hessler with his winning project
Zachary Hessler with his winning project, "SOS 2: See Our Silence; An Optical Approach to Controlling Digital Noise."

Cynthia Falardeau, Executive Director of The Education Foundation of Indian River County, stated, "Each of these students got the opportunity to apply through the Indian River Regional Science & Engineering Fair. The process of completing a Broadcom MASTERS application is rigorous. We want to thank all of our science fair sponsors for encouraging Zachary and Lucy to apply and to the Lazorik Family for providing an added incentive. We are very proud of Zachary and Lucy! We know they have the power to change the world!"

Please see the attached press release for more information.

Broadcom MASTERS Announces the Top 300 Middle School Students in National STEM Competition



WASHINGTON, DC - September 5, 2018 - Broadcom Foundation and Society for Science & the Public today announced the Top 300 competitors in the 8th annual Broadcom MASTERS® — the nation's premier Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) competition for middle school students. The Broadcom MASTERS, a program founded and produced by the Society for Science & the Public, seeks to inspire young scientists, engineers and innovators to solve the grand challenges of the 21st Century.

The Top 300 Broadcom 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.

The students' names and a state-by-state breakdown of the Top 300 Broadcom MASTERS can be found at

As the only middle school STEM competition that leverages Society-affiliated science fairs as a critical component of the STEM talent pipeline, the Broadcom MASTERS consists of the top 10 percent of 6th, 7th and 8th grade projects entered in Society-affiliated fairs around the country.

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, DC 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.

"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."

The Top 300 Broadcom MASTERS' independent STEM research projects tackle a broad range of challenges such as:

  • Minimizing food waste using an app
  • Testing gene mutations that could cause cystic fibrosis
  • Enhancing search and rescue efforts using antenna-based wireless signals
  • More effective solar panel design
  • Testing the effect of melatonin on breast cancer growth
  • Developing a more efficient battery

"Broadcom MASTERS competition is the culmination of the national science fair season when hundreds of thousands of young people showcase their prowess and passion for STEM projects to educators and professionals who volunteer to judge their projects," said Paula Golden, President of the Broadcom Foundation. "The Top 300 are the best-of-the-best and represent all science fair participants throughout the country. It is especially exciting to see more young women making it to the Top 300 in this rigorous national STEM competition that boasts a record number of applicants this year."

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.

In recognition of their achievements, the Top 300 Broadcom MASTERS will receive a prize package containing an award ribbon; semifinalist certificate of accomplishment; Broadcom MASTERS backpack; a Broadcom MASTERS decal; a specialized Invention Journal, courtesy of The Lemelson Foundation; a one-year subscription to Wolfram Mathematica software, courtesy of Wolfram Research; and a one-year family digital subscription to Science News magazine. In recognition of the role that teachers play in the success of their students, each designated teacher also will receive a Broadcom MASTERS tote bag and a one-year digital subscription to Science News magazine.

During their competition in Washington, DC, 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.


For more information on the Broadcom MASTERS, visit the Broadcom Foundation and Society websites. To keep up with the Broadcom MASTERS, use hashtag #brcmMASTERS or follow Broadcom Foundation and the Society on Twitter or the Society on Instagram. And to stay connected, visit the Broadcom MASTERS and Society Facebook pages. You can also follow the Society on Snapchat (Society4Science).

About Broadcom Foundation

Founded in April 2009, the Broadcom Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation the mission of advancing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education by funding research, recognizing scholarship and increasing opportunity.

The foundation inspires young people to pursue careers in STEM and to develop 21st century skills of critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity. It is a founding member of the National STEM Funders Network and plays a leadership role in the STEM Education Ecosystem Initiative in the US and Israel.

The foundation's signature programs, the Broadcom MASTERS® and the Broadcom MASTERS® International, are the premier science and engineering competitions for middle school students around the United States and the world.

Learn more at and follow us on Twitter (@BroadcomSTEM).

About Society for Science & the Public

Society for Science & the Public is dedicated to the achievement of young scientists in independent research and to public engagement in science. Established in 1921, the Society is a nonprofit whose vision is to promote the understanding and appreciation of science and the vital role it plays in human advancement. Through its world-class competitions, including the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, and the Broadcom MASTERS, and its award-winning magazine, Science News and Science News for Students, Society for Science & the Public is committed to inform, educate, and inspire. Learn more at and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat (Society4Science).

Society for Science & the Public Press Contact:

Gayle Kansagor


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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Cristen Maddux at 772-564-5527 or via email at