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Teenager from Santa Barbara County wins first place in national science competition

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Society For Science
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14-year-old Eamon Gordon from Goleta won first prize in the mathematics award in the Broadcom MASTERS.

14-year-old Eamon Gordon scoops $3,500 in prize money.

14-year-old Eamon Gordon, who lives in Goleta, was selected from a pool of nearly 2,000 students nationwide who participated in a rigorous competition that tested their mastery of critical thinking, communication, creativity and collaboration in each of the STEM areas (science, technology, engineering and math).

He told KCLU he’s thrilled to have won for his study on how the lengthening of a consonant when people say similar sounding words affects the listener’s understanding of the words.

Gordon won the first-place mathematics award in the Broadcom MASTERS, the nation’s premier middle school STEM competition. Broadcom MASTERS is a competition owned and produced by the nonprofit organization Society for Science.

Eamon tested his hypothesis that longer Voice Onset Times (VOT) shift sound perceptions of consonants, changing the way words are heard.

He slightly lengthened the consonants timing, which allowed his fellow students to change their understanding of the spoken words.

As for his $3,500 prize money? Eamon says he wants to use it to create a financial education course for middle and high school students.