On Monday, March 23, President Obama will host the fifth annual White House Science Fair. And over 100 young—some very young—scientists have been invited to share their inventions, science fair projects and new discoveries with the Washington elite who will attend the event, including Congressmen, Cabinet Secretaries, broadcast journalists, and those with a fundamental interest in young people and the sciences.
“As a society, we have to celebrate outstanding work by young people in science at least as much as we do Super Bowl winners.”
The first White House Science Fair was held in October 2010, as part of the President’s “Educate to Innovate” campaign, which seeks to accelerate achievement in Science Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs in the nation’s schools. Even elementary school students are invited to present projects some of which evolved from classroom activities, summer internships, or simple curiosity.
As in previous years, the 2015 Science Fair will showcase girls and women who excel in STEM fields and who are “inspiring the next generation with their work.”
And as an added bonus, the White House will be live streaming the fair at whitehouse.gov/science-fair, on March 23, to classrooms or anyone interested in seeing how very talented these young scientists really are.
Earlier in the month, President Obama met with the 40 finalists of the 2015 Intel Science Talent Search (STS) as part of the White House campaign to draw attention to the outstanding accomplishments of young scientists. In fact, each year, the STS finalists are invited to the White House for a group photo not too different from those the President takes with World Series, Stanley Cup or Super Bowl Winners. And the point is obvious: these kids are superstars worthy of front page recognition for their accomplishments.
This year, top winners and other STS finalists received more than $1 million in awards, including three first-place Medal of Distinctions awards of $150,000 for students who showed “exceptional scientific potential” in basic research, global good, and innovation. In addition to the top awards, three second-place winners received awards of $75,000 and three third-place winners received awards of $35,000.
And make no mistake. This money goes a long way toward not only paying for college but also reinforcing the dreams of young scientists in every corner of the county.