October 19, 2010
President Obama to Host White House Science Fair
Today, President Obama will host the White House Science Fair celebrating the winners of a broad range of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competitions. The White House Science Fair fulfills a commitment the President made at the launch of his Educate to Innovate campaign in November 2009 to move American students from the middle to the top of the pack in science and math achievement over the next decade.
The White House Science Fair kicks off a week that culminates with the USA Science and Engineering Festival on the National Mall and in 50 satellite locations, poised to engage more than a million people nationwide.At the White House Science Fair, President Obama will view exhibits of winning student projects, ranging from breakthrough basic research to new inventions, and will deliver remarks congratulating these students on their diligence, desire to tackle hard problems, and drive to invent and discover.
President Obama has identified STEM education as necessary for laying the new foundation for America's future prosperity and has made it a priority as part of the Administration's $4 billion Race to the Top (RTT) competition. States were encouraged to develop a comprehensive strategy to improve achievement in STEM subjects, to partner with local institutions and to broaden participation of women and underrepresented minorities.
Showcasing his commitment to inspire young people to excel in math and science, President Obama will appear in the Dec. 8, 2010, episode of Discovery Channel's MythBusters, a television show that uses science to determine the truth behind urban legends. MythBusters has approximately 13 million viewers a week and is very popular with 9-14 year olds. The show will also be included in the Science Channel's commercial-free kids STEM television block as part of Educate to Innovate.
More than 850 corporations, trade associations, federal agencies, colleges and universities and 300 K-12 schools will come together Oct. 23-24, 2010, in downtown Washington to host one of the country's largest science and engineering festivals. With over 1,500 interactive exhibits, 75 stage shows and 50 satellite events in 25 states, this festival is poised to reach over a million people nationwide.
Among the exhibits at the White House Science Fair is one from the winners of the Inspire Award, the most prestigious award at the 2010 FIRST Tech Challenge, honoring the team that performs well in all categories and deemed as the most desirable alliance partner by their peers. The NASA Robotics Alliance Project supports participation in the FIRST Robotics Competition by providing grants to high school teams, as well as sponsoring FIRST regional competitions. The winning team was the Rock n' Roll Robots, composed of all Girl Scoutsers, and represented by Catherine Wooten, Taylor Halsey and Salia Wilson, all from Los Angeles, Calif.
Winners from broad range of NASA-sponsored or affiliated STEM competitions will participate in the festivals, including those from the Pete Conrad Spirit of Innovation Award, to create new products using technology; Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, for middle school students; FIRST Lego League, for elementary students to create LEGO-based robots; Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment, for using local data; PBS Design Squad, for students who design and build new inventions with recyclable materials and the Team America Rocketry Challenge.
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