White House science fair features how “cool science can be”
In an attempt to shine the spotlight on America’s young inventors, the White House announced a national science fair in 2010. Just as college and professional athletes celebrate their victories at the White House, so should students who excel in math and science. “Scientists and engineers ought to stand side by side with athletes and entertainers as role models,” commented President Obama.
The President expressed concern about the performance of American students compared with their peers in other countries. “One assessment shows American 15-year-olds now rank 21st in science and 25th in math when compared to their peers around the world.” Some experts disagree with these figures citing other tests that show little difference with high-ranking countries and that the United States is not trailing the developed world.
In February, 2012, the second science fair was held at the White House. More than 100 students from across the country were present and had their inventions and discoveries featured. Joey Hudy was the only student from Arizona. The 14 year-old eighth-grader caught the President’s eye. He was asked to demonstrate his invention, the Extreme Marshmallow Cannon. He pumped up the compressor with the help of the President and shot a marshmallow across the room to the dismay of the Secret Service. Joey handed out business cards that read “Don’t Be Bored, Make Something.” The President told Joey “You’re gonna invent all kinds of important things. Congratulations. I’m gonna take a card, just in case.”
Regardless of comparisons and study results, no harm can come from recognizing student accomplishments in science, math and engineering. An annual White House event for future scientists and engineers could only be motivating and inspirational. What do you think of this idea? Would an award of a Washington, D.C. visit and national recognition for your accomplishments be worth working toward?