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April 30, 2013 > Students welcomed to White House Science Fair

Students welcomed to White House Science Fair

Submitted By Jennifer Baumgartner, Photo by Himanshu Baral and Allison Hewlett

Jessika Baral, 13, of Fremont was one of the three Broadcom MASTERS alumni who recently attended the third White House Science Fair where President Obama honored winners of the nation's top science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competitions and viewed award-winning projects. (The other two Broadcom MASTERS students were Jack Andraka, 16, of Crownsville, Md., and Mabel Wheeler, 13, of Orem, Utah.)

Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering for Rising Stars) is a leading national STEM competition for sixth, seventh and eighth grade students created to inspire future scientists and engineers to stay with science and math throughout high school. Sponsored by Broadcom Foundation, a non-profit public benefit organization, the competition is a program of Society for Science & the Public.

Students met the President and had the opportunity to discuss their research including projects such as innovating new detection for pancreatic cancer, engineering peripheral vision and preventing the degradation of polymers. Following the Fair, the President addressed the students, science educators and business leaders in attendance about the critical important of STEM education to address our country's economic and societal challenges.

"We are incredibly proud of these young people who represent the excellence and dedication that middle schoolers can bring to STEM education. By competing in the Broadcom MASTERS in middle school, young scientists and engineers are inspired to achieve at the highest level in high school and beyond," said Paula Golden, Executive Director, Broadcom Foundation. "President Obama's support for science and engineering competitions, including the Broadcom MASTERS, is critical for focusing public attention on the need for students to stay with math and science through their high school years in order to achieve college and career aspirations."

Jessika Baral won the Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation at the Broadcom MASTERS 2012 for her project "A Novel Way to Strengthen Eye Muscles and Enhance Peripheral Vision." She was inspired to study vision after noticing that her friends often use handheld electronic devices for long periods of time - a habit that can result in eye muscle fatigue. She decided to put her engineering skills to use, creating a device to strengthen tired eye muscles and improve peripheral vision using LED lights.

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Photo Caption: Jessika Baral meets with an advisor to the President

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