The Broadcom Foundation and Society for Science & the Public

Broadcom Masters

The Broadcom Foundation and
Society for Science & the Public
Broadcom Masters

Broadcom masters

(Math, Applied Science, Technology, and
Engineering for Rising Stars) Competition.


Meghna Behari, 8th Grade

Marshall Middle School: Wexford, PA
Aquabot: An Integrated Modular Platform for
Testing and Monitoring Surface Water Quality

Meghna BehariProject Background: “I often hear about high levels of contamination in waterways very close to my home,” says Meghna. Those concerns have grown as people worry about spills from wastewater produced by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which helps get natural gas out from deep shale. “Globally, the lack of clean water poses a significant problem,” Meghna adds. Regular water testing is an important step for figuring out if there’s a problem. “However, our current water testing methods are extremely inefficient,” she says. She set out to develop a method that would be simpler for both scientists and concerned citizens. That led to her platform, “Aquabot.”

Tactics and Results: Meghna’s automated testing device has dual motors powering an axle with propellers. Lots of tinkering made sure it could be controlled wirelessly and would travel well in water. Meghna mounted a variety of sensors on the device and connected them to Arduino microcontrollers. “I wrote a program for each sensor, which converts voltage to the respective water testing parameter through a formula,” she explains. She added a Bluetooth module to collect and transmit data wirelessly. She also added a GPS module to track the time, date and location of readings. Last but not least, Meghna created a smartphone app to receive and record the data. Then she tested the platform in a local lake. She also got input from water quality inspectors. The data correlated well with handheld sensor readings. And the equipment proved reliable. “In the future, I want to conduct more research on the accuracy of Aquabot’s sensors and make my platform even more fit in field settings,” Meghna says. “I also want to make Aquabot a standard tool for all water quality inspectors.”

Other Interests: Meghna plays the violin and loves to sing. She’s also active in scouting, swimming, track, and cross country. Meghna loves working with her robotics team and hopes to become a computer engineer. “I enjoy thinking of novel ways to approach challenges,” she says. “I am also good at working with others, which is needed for most careers.”


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