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Indian Creek Middle School eighth-grader Ava Jane Teasley is a Broadcom MASTERS semifinalist—one of only two in the state of Georgia. According to the Foundation and Society for Science & the Public (SSP), only 300 students nationwide have received this prestigious honor.

The fourth annual Broadcom MASTERS is the nation’s most prestigious Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) competition for middle school students. The Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering for Rising Stars) rewards and inspires sixth, seventh and eighth grade students to follow their personal passion in science or engineering and continue their studies in math and science throughout high school. The students are introduced to the scientific method and engineering process through science fair competitions and hands-on challenges that teach them the 21st century skills of critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity by focusing on Project-Based Learning and teamwork in their areas of interest.

“Now in its fourth year, the Broadcom MASTERS is enabling more middle school students of all levels to regard math and science as helping them gain the critical skills that lead to rewarding careers in STEM,” said Paula Golden, Executive Director, Broadcom Foundation and Director, Community Affairs, Broadcom Corporation. “We are extremely proud of the thousands of young people who were nominated by their regional and state fairs to compete this year and applaud the 300 semifinalists who now compete for a slot as one of the 30 finalists in the 2014 Broadcom MASTERS.”

Semifinalists were selected from more than 2,054 applicants after each application received three independent readings and evaluations by distinguished scientists, engineers and educators. Nominees qualified to enter the Broadcom MASTERS by being among the top 10 percent of the participants at their SSP-affiliated science fairs.

Teasley’s recognition stems from the work she did on her seventh-grade science fair project, “Preventing a Pain in the Butt!” The topic of her project is the use of infrared equipment to assess body temperature in livestock. Her project won first place in the Animal Science Division of the Griffin RESA Regional Science Fair and took home fourth place in the Junior Division of the Georgia Science and Engineer Fair held at the University of Georgia. Teasley’s project also won the Georgia Veterinary Medical Auxiliary Award at last year’s state science fair.

“The Newton County School System (NCSS) is extremely proud of Miss Teasley,” said NCSS Deputy Superintendent Dr. Craig Lockhart. “Receiving a nationally-recognized accolade in the STEM arena is a crowning achievement, and it serves as a testament to the wonderful work our students do every day.  We commend Ava Jane for representing herself, her family, Indian Creek Middle, and the Newton County School System in such grand fashion.”

As a semifinalist, each student will receive an award ribbon, semifinalist certificate of accomplishment, Broadcom MASTERS backpack, one year family digital subscription to Science News magazine, and a one year subscription to Mathematica+, courtesy of Wolfram Research. In recognition of the role teachers play in the success of their students, each semifinalist’s classroom will receive a collection of Sally Ride Science Career Books, courtesy of Deloitte.

Broadcom will announce the 30 Broadcom MASTERS finalists on September 17.  If selected a finalist, Teasley will receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., October 24 – October 28 to showcase her science fair project and compete in a four-day STEM competition for awards and prizes, including the top education award of $25,000 presented by the Samueli Foundation.

“SSP joins Broadcom Foundation in congratulating these extraordinary students for their hard work and dedication," said Maya Ajmera, President and Chief Executive Officer of Society for Science & the Public and Publisher of the Science News family of media properties. "This year’s semifinalists were selected from the largest number of Broadcom MASTERS applicants ever. These students should be proud of their accomplishments and inspired to continue their hands-on scientific and engineering research.”

Sponsored by Broadcom Foundation, a nonprofit public benefit corporation funded by Broadcom Corporation, the Broadcom MASTERS is a program of Society for Science & the Public. SSP has run some of the world's most prestigious science competitions for more than seven decades.

For more information, contact Ms. Sherri Davis-Viniard, director of public relations for Newton County Schools, at