OCSEF Announces Broadcom Coding with Commitment Winners

Orange County Science and Engineering Fair announces Mark Menaker and Vy Nguyen as the 2022 OCSEF Broadcom Coding with Commitment winners. The two middle-school students have shown excellence in their projects’ subject choices and presentations, in an inspiring interest in community problem solving.

Mark Menaker, an 8th grader from Rancho San Joaquin Middle school, took the first place (Junior) award for at the 2022 OCSEF (Category 1500 – Physiology / Medical Biology) with his project, titled Monitoring Health for the Elderly Using Machine Learning Anomaly Detection

“This health monitoring project is designed to test machine learning algorithms for detecting anomalies in the timing of bathroom visits of elderly people living alone, and to create a device to detect such anomalies in real time,” Menaker explained in his project description.

According to Menaker, bathroom visits can be a good indicator of health, because elderly people use the bathroom frequently at night, and if there is a long time gap without a visit, it could be because of a fall, illness, or dehydration. “The research question is ‘what type of machine can best identify anomalies in the frequency of an elderly person’s bathroom visits?’ The best machine learning algorithm can then be implemented on a Raspberry Pi device with a motion sensor to automatically monitor bathroom visits every night and notify family if any anomalies are detected. The training data for the machine learning algorithm will be collected by an elderly human subject living alone who will write down the time of their bathroom visits each night for at least one month.”

Vy Nguyen’s OCSEF entry this year was on a totally different subject. The student took the 3rd place (Junior) award at the 2022 OCSEF (Category 800 – Environmental Science / Environmental Engineering) with her research of the the effect of carbon dioxide on plant growth

“This project is about how carbon dioxide affects the growth of different types of plants,” explained the Warner Middle School 8th grader. “I watered each plant regularly, but changed the amount of carbon dioxide in each of their atmospheres.”

The student then used CO2 sensors,to measure the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. “To carry out this experiment, I had to put multiple plants in a box, just in case the other plant dies, and light a fire, which an adult will help me with,” she says. “There will be two tubes going into each box, one with water, and the other with smoke,  while the sensor was located at the bottom corner, measuring the CO2”

Broadcom Coding with Commitment program was established in 2021 to encourage students to solve problems that impact them personally or their communities such as health, sanitation, energy or climate change.

“Broadcom foundation is proud that Mark Menaker an Vy Nguyen have earned the 2022 Broadcom Coding with Commitment award from OCSEF,” said Paula Golden, President of Broadcom Foundation. “They are embarking on a thrilling adventure in STEM at a time when science and math must combine to create technological solutions that will enable us to sustain our quality of life on our planet. Using coding and computational thinking are critical tools that will help them realize their dreams and aspirations as future STEM professionals.”

Broadcom Coding with Commitment also encourages students to look at challenges set out in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a set of goals that were   adopted by the United Nations in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity. The SDGs are designed to end poverty, hunger, AIDS, and discrimination against women and girls.