Broadcom Foundation and Society for Science & the Public announced that Asmi Kumar, a student at Northwestern Middle School in Milton, GA, took home the second place mathematics award at the Broadcom MASTERS competition and received $2,500 to support her choice of a STEM summer camp experience in the U.S. 

Asmi’s project, titled Developing a Device to Predict Autistic Meltdowns Using Arduino and MS Azure, aims to predict, track, and analyze the currently unpredictable effects of autism such as seizures and meltdowns. For her project, Asmi built a prototype of a wearable wrist device that tracks the heart rate of users in order to predict the heart rates at which the user could likely experience a meltdown. The data collected is delivered via Bluetooth to a mobile application on an external device. Using specialized analysis processes, the data would be studied for anomalies, possible indicators for meltdowns. If a meltdown is suspected, a push notification is outputted to a phone paired with the wearable. With this device, effects of autism can potentially be predicted, deferred, and potentially prevented.

14-year-old Asmi Kumar displays her prototype that aims to predict autistic meltdowns.

Asmi plans to continue developing this device by adding more detectors for oncoming meltdowns, such as sensors for galvanic skin response, sweat levels, and body temperature. 

“I am excited for this project’s potential,” said Asmi Kumar. “Technology’s greatest asset is its ability to help people on a massive scale, and I will passionately work to build and code for this purpose.” 

Asmi plans to use her $2,500 winnings from Broadcom MASTERS to fund her attendance at the Canada/USA Mathcamp, an intensive five-week summer program for students who are mathematically-inclined/talented. 

“[The camp] is a great way for exposure to even more advanced math, and is a vibrant community enriched in mathematics. [It’s] a great opportunity to make new friends who appreciate and love math just like me,” said Asmi. 

The Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology, and Engineering for Rising Stars), a program of the Society for Science & the Public, is the nation’s premier science and engineering competition for middle school students. The competition seeks to inspire young scientists, engineers, and innovators to solve the grand challenges of the 21st Century. Students who rank in the top 10% of their local science fair qualify to enter the competition. More than 2,500 students entered this year’s competition. The top 30 finalists traveled to Washington, DC where they competed in a four-day STEM competition for more than $100,000 in awards and prizes. 

The finalists were judged on projects that they presented at their state or regional science fair, their knowledge of STEM subjects, and their demonstration of 21st Century skills in a series of hands-on challenges. These challenges included designing a new type of shark tag; designing, coding and building a functional program using Raspberry Pi and Sense Hat; and determining how long it would take for a zombie pathogen to infect the world’s population.

“To ensure a robust pipeline of STEM talent, an early start is crucial. Middle school is a critical time when students are starting to think about what they want to do when they grow up,” said Maya Ajmera, President and CEO of the Society for Science & the Public. “Through the Broadcom MASTERS, we encourage students to deepen their interests in science, technology, engineering and math.”

Broadcom MASTERS winners were chosen from the 30 finalists (14 girls and 16 boys) selected from 2,537 applicants in 35 states. Winners were selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, engineers and educators. Each finalist’s school will receive $1,000 from the Broadcom MASTERS to benefit their science program.