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October 30, 2012 > Local student places second at national science fair

Local student places second at national science fair

Submitted By Courtesy of Broadcom Foundation

Jessika Baral (age 13) and an eighth grader at Hopkins Jr. High in Fremont won the Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation and $10,000 second place prize, for her aptitude for electrical engineering and project on eye muscles and peripheral vision.

Sponsored by Broadcom Foundation, the Broadcom MASTERS competition for sixth, seventh and eighth graders, inspires future scientists and engineers to stay with science and math throughout high school.

The competition was held in Washington D.C. during the week of September 28- October 3 and winners were announced on October 2. (The top award of the $25,000 Samueli Foundation was awarded to 14 year old Raymond Gilmartin of South Pasadena.)

Baral was inspired to study vision after noticing that her friends often use handheld electronic devices for long periods of time - a habit that can result in eye muscle fatigue. She decided to put her engineering skills to use creating a device to strengthen tired eye muscles and improve peripheral vision using LED lights. Through her research, she found that regular exercise with the device significantly improved both peripheral vision and peripheral reading range in children and adults.

Baral was selected because she demonstrates both vision and promise as an innovator, and in the spirit of radio inventor Guglielmo Marconi, has shown aptitude and skill in applied electrical engineering concepts in her science project and in the STEM challenges throughout the competition week.

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