Ardent students Anshul Gupta, sixth grader, and Joshua Sohn, eighth grader, were selected as semifinalists at the 2015 Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering as Rising Stars).

Broadcom MASTERS is an international science and engineering competition open to sixth, seventh, and eighth graders from around the world. Students engage in a project based competition that encourages them to explore their passions and grow in their innovative capabilities.

Gupta, who attends Brywood Elementary School, studied the Gauss Gun. The Gauss Gun utilizes the attractive forces between magnets to create strong acceleration and achieve high projectile speeds.

Gupta’s goal was to discover whether the material of a ball inside the gun would affect the speed by which projectiles shoot out. He conducted three experiments and concluded that glass balls are fastest, followed by plastic balls and metal balls.

Sohn, who attends Jeffrey Trail Middle School, investigated the effect of fencing on the knee. Because fencing utilizes quick lunges to strike opponents, a fencer’s knee is constantly in motion and therefore at risk for injury.

Sohn’s goal was to determine how various factors affect the overall force on the knee during a lunge. He concluded that a greater foot-hip distance, a higher drop in height, and a heavier weight results in greater force on the knee.

Overall, six students from Orange County were selected to be part of a group of 300 semifinalists. The semifinalists were chosen from 39 states and American Somoa. Students were selected from a pool of more than 2,230 applicants through receiving nominations by winning in local science fairs.

Finalists were announced on Sept. 2. However, no students from Orange County progressed to the final round.