LITTLE ROCK, Ark. –  A Little Rock fifth grader has gained national recognition as a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) student.

Vishak Meenachi, a student of Little Rock’s LISA Academy, is one of the 300 students in the 47 states and three territories recognized as one of the 300 Broadcom MASTERS. The MASTERS program is a competition by the Broadcom Foundation and the Society for Science designed to inspire young scientists.

Meenachi was selected from 1,807 student submissions for his project: “Cost Effective Pesticide/Fertilizer Sprayer Attachment for Drones.”

By being named, Meenachi receives a $125 check from the Department of Defense STEM program, designed to provide a diverse STEM professional group in the future as well as other items, including subscriptions to science-oriented publications.

Superintendent Fatih Bogrek and Broadcom MASTER awardee Vishak Meenachi

“Broadcom MASTERS is a very prestigious program that I am ecstatic to be a part of,” Meenachi stated. “It helps young scientists and STEM enthusiasts to pursue their dreams.”

“We are incredibly proud of Vishak and his accomplishments,” LISA superintendent Fatih Bogrek stated. “Vishak is a great example of the LISA model to learn, innovate support and achieve at the highest levels.”

Other award-winning projects included identifying hate speech on social media, exploring sustainable batteries, investigating bioplastics, researching autonomous vehicles and assessing face mask efficacy.

On Sept. 21, 30 of the 300 will be named finalists as selected by a panel of engineers, scientists and educators. Possible prizes for those selected include the $25,000 Samueli Foundation Prize, the $10,000 DoD STEM Talent Award, the $10,000 Lemelson Award for Invention, the $10,000 Marconi/Samueli Award for Innovation, the $10,000 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award for Health Advancement, and the $5,000 Broadcom Coding with Commitment Award.