SAN JOSE, CA – On Tuesday, Broadcom Foundation and Society for Science & the Public announced the winners of the 2017 Broadcom MASTERS Awards. Three Santa Clara County students succeeded, each taking first place in the three of the four categories for the STEM Awards, a competition which highlights student work in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
"The Broadcom MASTERS® is a rigorous competition where nearly 2,500 students from across the United States, Puerto Rico, and overseas Department of Defense schools compete. From this group, 30 student winners are selected for different categories" says Sandi Yellenberg, Science Coordinator for the Santa Clara County Office of Education. "Each submission is thoroughly evaluated by a panel of scientists, engineers, and educators."
Pujita Tangirala, pictured on the far right, created"A Green, Low-Cost Adsorbent for the Removal of Dye from Aqueous Solutions."
Pujita Tangirala from Los Gatos, took first place in the science category with her project, a filtration system that uses the natural anti-oxidant properties of tea leaves to remove up to 99-percent of blue dyes from water which otherwise could block light and therefore inhibit photosynthesis by water plants. She hopes that the low cost of this system will be attractive to companies that might otherwise dump colored wastewater into waterways. "My filter system can be scaled to an industrial level so that factories no longer pollute," Pujita says.
Herin Kang, pictured in the middle, received first place for, "Energy Efficient Oxygen Generator Using Micro Algae as an Alternative to Window Ventilation."
Herin Kang of Los Gatos, took first place in technology with her project, "Energy Efficient Oxygen Generator Using Micro Algae as an Alternative to Window Ventilation." After learning that NASA researchers tested algae as a source of oxygen for spaceships, Herin designed an oxygen generator for rooms indoors, using algae to replenish oxygen through photosynthesis. She reports that her prototypes work well and bring carbon dioxide levels back to normal in the test room. "I have severe allergy problems and am afraid of opening the window during allergy seasons," Herin says.
Andrew Chiang of San Jose, pictured on the far left, took first place in engineering with his project, "Manipulation of Ultrasonic Force Field."
"As a longtime fan of Star Wars, I have always been fascinated by the force shield that can deflect bombs," Andrew says. Andrew focused on creating an ultrasonic force field generator, capable of suspending an object measuring 5 millimeters on each side and weighing 0.05 gram-force, and can accurately change the object's position. He developed algorithms, made complex field patterns, and used electronic components to build a system to test his design. Using 64 transducers, he created a field strong enough to move a very light object, but not enough to fully suspend it in the air.
"Each student STEM award winner received $3,500 and an iPad," says Yellenberg.
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The Science Team is a part of the Santa Clara County Office of Education's Curriculum
and Instruction department.
The Science team provides professional development in science curriculum, instruction, assessment, and teacher leadership.
The Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) is a regional service agency that provides instructional and business services to the 31 school districts of Santa Clara County. The SCCOE serves students through special education programs, alternative schools, Head Start and State Preschool programs, migrant education, and Opportunity Youth Academy. The Office also provides curriculum support, staff development, and technology support and training directly to teachers and staff in schools countywide.