Picture Credit: Society for Science
This week, the Society for Science and Broadcom Foundation announced the Top 30 finalists in one of the nation’s most prestigious middle school science competitions, the Broadcom MASTERS.
This year’s 30 finalists come from 15 different states and were selected from a pool of over 1,800 nominees. Nominees were previously chosen based on their top 10% finish in local and regional science fairs throughout the country.
This past March, Clara Choi, a commercial dance student at the Orange County School of the Arts in California, finished in the top 10% of her local science fair, the Orange County Science and Engineering Fair. As a result, she received a Broadcom nomination. She entered the Broadcom competition with her neuroscience project comparing brain waves of participants who learned dance movements in a virtual format versus in person format.
“The idea for my project came about when my dance training transitioned to Zoom after the start of the pandemic,” Clara explained. “It was harder to pay attention, it was not as fun, and it was also just harder to learn. So I wanted to look into whether there was any neurological basis for why it might be harder for a dancer’s brain to learn dance movement and choreography over a camera versus in a studio.”
Each of the Top 30 finalists will be receiving $500 and each of their schools will receive $1,000. Next month, they will move on to Finals Week, where they will compete for an additional $100,000 in prizes. Historically, Finals Week has occurred in Washington D.C., but like last year, the competition will be held virtually due to the ongoing pandemic.
“I am still in disbelief; I can’t even say it’s a dream come true because it’s beyond my wildest dreams,” commented Clara. “I am so humbled and honored to forever be a Broadcom MASTERS alumn!”
Congratulations to this bright young group of aspiring scientists and innovators and good luck next month at Finals Week!