Rinoa is a Top 30 Finalist in the Broadcom MASTERS®, the nation’s premier Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) middle school competition. She will be traveling to Washington, D.C. from October 25-30 where they will participate in a rigorous competition to compete for more than $100,000 in awards.
In 2018, Rinoa attended the awards ceremony for California’s state science fair. She noticed that several students came from Orange County. That county’s median income places it in the top third for the state.
“Are students from privileged areas or highly rated schools more likely to win in the California State Science & Engineering Fair?” she wondered.
On the flip side, might students from less well-to-do areas be missing out? Rinoa decided to dig into decades of science fair data to find out. She also looked into other factors that could affect a student’s chances for winning.
During her research, Rinoa obtained 29 years of California state science fair results. She figured out the median household incomes for cities where the students went to school, then got to work analyzing the data.
The top winning projects tended to come from more affluent areas. Moreover, she discovered a growing gap between income levels for cities with the top three projects and the income levels for cities for all other projects.
Also, the average of the median city incomes for all participating projects was more than the statewide median income. And schools with fewer than five projects were much more likely to be in areas in the bottom quartile of income levels than in the top quartile. The opposite was true for schools with more than 100 projects.
Broadcom MASTERS, a program founded and produced by the Society for Science & the Public, encourages middle school students to translate their interests into a passion for STEM.
This competition is part of a robust STEM pipeline that encourages students who show incredible promise to pursue STEM in high school, college and beyond; only the top 10 percent of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade projects entered into Society-affiliated fairs around the country are eligible to apply.
For more info: http://broadcomfoundation.org