“This stuff is really cool!” President Obama excitedly stated during yesterday’s third annual White House Science Fair as he praised research projects and innovations from 100 students across the country. The students’ projects had previously won the attention of regional science competitions.
Obama enthusiastically talked about the student projects, which included a collapsible, bicycle-powered energy water sanitation station that filters E.coli from water. High school students Payton Karr and Kiona Elliott of Oakland Park, Fla., designed the bicycle, which the president tested while clad in a business suit and dress shoes.
Evan Jackson, Alec Jackson and Caleb Robinson – elementary school pupils from McDonough, Ga. – garnered the president’s attention for their “Cool Pads,” innovation. They designed pads for football players containing sensors that help keep the players from overheating on the field.
“Gatorade is also included,” the president pointed out, smiling. Obama said the science fair was a way to show respect for researchers who toil in labs and whose work often lead to innovations that strengthen our economy and make our lives better.
Obama also used the occasion to note that federally funded scientific research should not be gutted. Instead, he borrowed the line from his State of the Union address: “Now is the time to reach a level of research of development not seen since the height of the Space Race.”
The president also noted that science is not a partisan issue.
“America has always been about discovery, and invention, and engineering, and science and evidence. That’s who we are. That’s in our DNA. That’s how this country became the greatest economic power in the history of the world. That’s how we’re able to provide so many contributions to people all around the world with our scientific and medical and technological discoveries,” he said.