3 Valley girls make it to list of top 300 middle school scientists in U.S.

The Broadcom Foundation competition is the nation's premier STEM contest for middle school-aged students.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Three local girls are making the Central Valley proud and being recognized nationwide.

They took part in the Broadcom Foundation competition.

It's the nation's premier science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) contest for middle school-aged students.

The girls faced several challenges during the pandemic, such as less hands-on support, but still landed among the country's top 300 middle school scientists.

Kinnoree Pasha from Fugman Elementary School is one of them.

Her project idea came from helping her dad with their garden. She noticed some plants were cold from lack of sunlight and looked for a solution aside from a greenhouse.

The 11-year-old says STEM is her passion.

"I would like to observe, investigate and understand natural phenomena and invent some technology and apply them to solve real-world problems," she says.

Her parents are thrilled to see her accomplishment, and Andrew Luna feels the same way about his two daughters.

11-year-old Julie from Reagan Elementary School and 14-year-old Isabelle from Washington Academic Middle School both made the list.

"Once you get that networking, meeting, and working with professors before they are even there, it's so exciting to watch them do that," Andrew says.

Each of them has her own vision.

"I did a project on healing of the skin, trying to find a substance that could bring tissue back," says Isabelle.

Julie says: "I was distilling water from common pollutants normally in water to make it healthy to drink."

More than half of the top 300 scientists are girls this year, which is an encouraging sign for the future - and efforts to have more women pursue STEM careers. Now we can all look forward to what these young ladies will achieve in the years to come.

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