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Laramie Student Semifinalist for Broadcom MASTERS Science Fair

September 19, 2016
young girl standing beside science fair tri-fold display
Arundathai Nair

Laramie student Arundathai Nair is among 300 semifinalists selected from 2,343 applicants nationwide in the national Broadcom Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering for Rising Stars (MASTERS) competition.

Broadcom MASTERS is the premier national science and engineering research competition for students in grades 6-8. Students who exhibited exceptional original science and engineering research projects at last spring’s Wyoming State Science Fair at the University of Wyoming were nominated to enter Broadcom MASTERS.

The 30 finalists will be selected later this fall for an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C.

Nair was a Laramie Junior High School eighth-grader when she competed in last spring’s State Science Fair. She currently is a Laramie High School freshman.

Erin Stoesz, Wyoming State Science Fair coordinator and lecturer with UW’s Science and Mathematics Teaching Center, says “there is no better way to learn about science or engineering research than by doing it, and the science fair provides that opportunity.”

“Being able to nominate students from our fair for national- and international-level competitions really ups the level of competition and gives the students external motivation to put out their best work,” Stoesz adds. “It also helps us reward students in a big way.”

Nair is the fourth Wyoming student to be honored as a semifinalist in the Broadcom MASTERS competition. Past Broadcom MASTERS semifinalists from Wyoming are Mercedes Dimsey (2013, Cody Middle School), Mary McGuire (2015, St. Anthony’s Tri-Parish Catholic School in Casper) and Sean White (2015, Wind River Middle School, Pavillion).

Nair invented a prototype portable pedal designed to prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT is a condition that affects millions of Americans each year, and for which long-term immobility, such as long-haul air travel, is a common risk factor.

Her portable pedal, which can be used at a desk or in an airplane seat, is designed to stimulate activity of the leg muscle that is comparable to the muscle activity observed when an average adult walks.

Nair’s research was supported by mentoring from Boyi Dai, UW assistant professor of kinesiology and health; Paul Dellenback, UW associate professor of mechanical engineering; and Doug Brenneman, Laramie Junior High School industrial arts teacher.

Nair was among eight students nominated for the national competition from the recent Wyoming State Science Fair. Other nominees were Megan Anspach, Pinedale Middle School; Jakobi Hibbert, Big Piney Middle School; Ahlena Islam, Laramie Junior High School; Loren Mann and Todd Paisley, both from Wheatland Middle School; Bryce Salzman, Meeteetse School; and Chloe Smith, Newcastle Middle School.

“These students all conducted science and engineering research that was innovative, executed well and presented with genuine passion,” Stoesz says.

For more information about the Wyoming State Science Fair, email Stoesz at, or visit the website at

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