Inaugural Science Fair Hosted at White House
The White House held its inaugural science fair on Monday, October 18, with President Obama playing host to the winners of various science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) competitions nationwide. After viewing the students’ exhibits, which ranged from basic research to new inventions, President Obama addressed an audience comprised of students, educators, Nobel laureates, and business leaders on the important role that STEM education plays in the economic future of the U.S.
In November 2009, while launching his “Educate to Innovate” program, President Obama promised that he would inspire children to excel in math and science, saying “If you win the NCAA championship, you come to the White House. Well, if you're a young person and you produce the best experiment or design, the best hardware or software, you ought to be recognized for that achievement, too.”
Among the students being honored at the White House Science Fair was Erika DeBenedictis, an 18-year-old from Albuquerque, NM, who won the top prize of $100,000 at the Intel Science Talent Search 2010. She developed a software navigation system that can help improve spacecraft travel through the solar system.