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Surf zone study earns young scientist first place

Top prizes awarded in Broadcom MASTERS science competition for middle schoolers

A typical 14-year-old goes to the beach to play in the waves. But Daniel Feeny went to a beach near Pescadero, Calif., to study them. Using a homemade rig of springs and balls set up in a tide pool, he showed that the force of the waves there doesn’t dictate the diversity of marine life close to shore.

“I discovered that nature doesn't work that way, it’s not that simple,” says Feeny, who ran his experiment as an eighth-grader at Woodside Elementary School. “There are so many variables that can affect diversity, like the terrain and drying out.”

For his original research and his performance in a series of team-based contests, Feeny has won first place in the inaugural Broadcom Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering for Rising Stars, or MASTERS, program. Winners and finalists in this national competition for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders were honored October 4 at a black-tie gala held at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C.

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