Broadcom Foundation and Society for Science & the Public on September 18 announced the 30 finalists in the 9th annual Broadcom MASTERS®, the nation’s premier Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) middle school competition. Amongst these 30 finalists was Friendswood Junior High eighth-grader Ganesh Venu for his project “Can Potassium Help Save Water In Rice Production?”
Broadcom MASTERS, a program founded and produced by the Society for Science & the Public, seeks to inspire young scientists, engineers and innovators who will solve the grand challenges of the future. Venu’s project does just that. Venu’s experiment tested increasing potassium levels in crops, specifically rice, to preserve water. He found that adding some potassium can save water and increase crop yields, which would be highly beneficial in countries like India where it can be difficult to find clean water. Venu’s research could quite literally change the world.Venu and the other finalists will travel to Washington, DC from Oct. 25-30 where they will participate in a rigorous competition that leverages project-based learning to test and demonstrate their mastery of 21st Century skills of critical thinking, communication, creativity and collaboration in each of the STEM areas. The finalists will also meet with government officials and showcase their projects for the public during a free event at the University of the District of Columbia on Oct. 26 from 1-3:30pm. Winners will be named during an awards ceremony on Oct. 29 at the Shakespeare Theater Company Sidney Harman Hall.