There’s a good reason why it’s so much fun to be at the annual White House Science Fair. The fair was held Monday and featured the accomplishments of inspiring young people who are leading the way in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) nationwide. This year’s fair didn’t disappoint, with appearances by high-tech robots, futuristic rockets, and even a group of 6-year-old superheroes.
Youngsters from around the country put their prototypes and inventions on display for the President and the nation to see. Check out these amazing students and their ground-breaking projects that were on display at the White House, as the White House highlighted in a recent blog post:
- The showstoppers of the fair were the “supergirls” of Tulsa, OK—Emily Bergenroth, Alicia Cutter, Karissa Cheng, Addy O’Neal, and Emery Dodson of Daisy Girl Scouts’ troop 411. As part of their Junior FIRST Lego League Team, these girls created a battery-powered page turner out of LEGO’s that could turn pages for people who are paralyzed or have arthritis.
- Inspired by the global energy crisis and the lack of electricity around the world, Pittsburgh ninth-grader Sahil Doshi designed an innovative carbon-dioxide powered battery called PolluCell. Comprised of multiple electrochemical cells wired in parallel circuits, PolluCell harnesses the power of carbon dioxide and waste materials to generate electricity, reducing the environmental effects of pollution.
- Maureen Botros, 15, of Wichita, KS, wanted to make physical activity not just feel good, but also look good. Her invention, Illumi-cize, uses a pulse meter to measure heart rate and sends that information to a battery-powered computer chip. The chip is programmed to illuminate light-up accessories based on the intensity of a person’s physical activity.
- Naperville, Illinois teen Trisha Prabhu learned about research showing that the human brain’s decision-making region is not fully developed until age 25 and got inspired to help teens rethink how they treat others. She developed a computer program called “Rethink” that alerts users when an outgoing message contains language that is potentially abusive and hurtful.
- Joschula Page of St. Louis, MO had an idea when she needed to plug her dying cell phone into a wall all the way across the room from her desk. She asked herself “what if I could charge my phone from exactly where I’m sitting?” And so, she created a bracelet that wirelessly charges the battery of a cell phone, called UNPLUGGED.
- During the summer before ninth grade, Bluyé DeMessie, 18, of Cincinnati, OH, visited his relatives in Northern Ethiopia and was shocked by the lack of clean water. Over the last four years, Bluyé developed a novel method to convert agricultural waste into a bio-charcoal that is capable of removing pollutants from water within a short contact time. Bluyé wants to create an efficient and high-capacity water filtration system that can be maintained by villagers in remote areas of third world nations.
- Eleven-year-old Lily Born of Chicago, IL, saw her grandfather, who was suffering from Parkinson’s disease, struggle to use a regular cup, spilling his drink in the process. Inspired to find a solution, Lily used moldable plastic to develop a prototype that was more stable and comfortable to use. The Kangaroo Cup can be used by individuals who suffer from muscular control issues, as well as young children.
- A team of Ohio 6th graders got inspired after befriending some Haitian students in 2010, right before the region’s devastating earthquake. Team “Quake Safe”—Julia Bray, Luke Clay and Ashton Cofer—wanted to find a solution to help make the many structurally unsound buildings in Haiti safer. They came up with a hyperbolic bamboo creation that takes on a paraboloid shape (inspired by the shape of Pringle chips!) and uses bamboo–a fast growing renewable resource that is easily accessed by most in the region.
There are plenty more examples of inspiring young students and their inventions on the White House blog and we encourage you to go check it out. It’s incredibly important to celebrate students’ achievements in STEM around the country. And President Obama couldn’t agree more:
As a society, we have to celebrate outstanding work by young people in science at least as much as we do Super Bowl winners. Because superstar biologists and engineers and rocket scientists and robot-builders… they’re what’s going to transform our society.
Let’s hope that next year, even more students can wow the President with their creations!
Photo credit: Pete Souza via White House