Several Indian-American Middle-Schoolers among Broadcom MASTERS winners

Akilan Sankaran, 14, of Albuquerque, NM on hearing his results. Photo: Twitter @BroadcomSTEM

The nation’s leading Middle School STEM competition announced its list of 30 winners of the Broadcom MASTERS held between Oct. 22-28, 2021, which includes numerous Indian-American teenagers.

Akilan Sankaran, 14, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, won the $25,000 Samueli Foundation Prize, for his computer program that can calculate “highly divisible numbers,” sometimes called antiprimes, more than 1,000 digits long as well as his leadership, collaboration and critical thinking skills. The prize is a gift of Dr. Henry Samueli, Chairman of the Board, Broadcom Inc., and Chair of the Broadcom Foundation and his wife, Dr. Susan Samueli, President of the Samueli Foundation.

Camellia Sharma, 14, Henrico, Virginia, won the $10,000 DoD STEM Talent Award for demonstrating excellence in science, technology, engineering or math, along with the leadership and technical skills necessary to excel in the 21st Century STEM workforce and build a better community for tomorrow. Camellia built a 3D-printed aerial drone/boat that can fly to a spot, land on the water and take underwater photos. Her software can then count the fish living there.

Prisha Shroff, 14, 0f Chandler, ARizona, on hearing about her Broadcom MASTERS win. Photo: Twitter @BroadcomSTEM

Prisha Shroff, 14, Chandler, Arizona, won the $10,000 Lemelson Award for Invention, awarded by The Lemelson Foundation to a young inventor who creates a promising solution to a real-world problem. Prisha developed an AI-based wildfire prevention system that uses satellite and meteorological data to identify fire-prone locations and deploy drones there.

Ryka C. Chopra, 13, Fremont, California, won the $10,000 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Advancement, which recognizes the student whose work and performance shows the most promise in health-related fields and demonstrates an understanding of the many social factors that affect the health of communities. Ryka geocoded the locations of fast-food restaurants to see if they are built near populations of obese people, perhaps contributing to the obesity cycle.

Other Indian-American youth in the list of finalists include — Arjun Agarwal, 14 of Portland, Oregon; Sebastian Rae Alexis, 13, of Irvine, California; Sohan Govindaraju, 13, of Portland, Oregon; Atreya Manaswai, 15, of Orlando, Florida; Vihaan Paliwal, 12, of Hillsboro, Oregon; Avi Patel, 12, of Fair Lawn, New Jersey; Samhita Pokkunuri, 14, of Old Bridge, New Jersey; Nipun Rajan, 13, of Germantown, Tennessee; Ansh Sehgal, 12, of Fair Lawn, New Jersey; Praneel Anil Shah, 14, of Cupertino, California; and Raunak Singh, 12, of Fair Lawn, New Jersey;

The Society for Science conducts the event with the support of the Broadcom Foundation. MASTERS stands for – Math, Applied Science, Technology, and Engineering for Rising Stars – a program run since 2010.

The Broadcom MASTERS awards cash prizes and gifts to all MASTERS nominees and their teachers at every level of competition. National finals are held each fall, and top prizes include the $10,000 Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation, the $25,000 Samueli Foundation Prize, a gift from the Samueli Foundation, the $10,000 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Advancement, the $10,000 STEM Talent Award, sponsored by DoD STEM and the $7,500 Lemelson Award for Invention, STEM and team awards. Top awards in math were sponsored by Robert John Floe, President, Floe Financial Partners.

“The 2021 Broadcom MASTERS finalists faced tremendous adversity conducting scientific research and developing engineering prototypes during the pandemic.  More than 25% are tackling COVID-19 related challenges,” noted the Broadcom Foundation in its announcement.

For more information on winners and their projects visit





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