With bittersweet emotion, President Obama attended his sixth and final White House Science Fair on Wednesday, witnessing projects from more than 130 bright students who presented ideas to save the planet and treat Ebola, reports NBC News.
Nine-year-old Jacob Leggette, of Baltimore, Maryland, was among the attendees.
“It was amazing,” Jacob told NewsOne Wednesday of meeting the president. From the looks of the picture below, he couldn’t contain his awe.
“After being introduced to 3D printing, Jacob was hooked and wrote letters to different printer companies, asking if they would donate a 3D printer to him in return for feedback on how easily a then-8-year-old could use their device,” the White House wrote in a press release. “His sales pitch worked, and he has been creating toys and games ever since. Jacob’s specialty is experimenting with additive and subtractive manufacturing and the combination of the two to create whatever he imagines.”
Jacob told NewsOne during a phone call that he was pleased that the president was impressed with his work.
“It was the most amazing thing,” he said.
Obama “hailed the group of young innovators and told a packed East Room some of his greatest moments leading the nation have come from the science fair, from shooting a marshmallow cannon, to hanging out with a group of Girl Scouts,” writes NBC.
Nicole O’Dell, 18, of Stone Mountain, Georgia, was also pleased to see the president, she told NewsOne during a phone call.
“It was incredible,” she said. “I’ve met so many amazing people.”
Nicole won first place at the National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) National Competition for her research on the effects of low-dose radiation, according to the White House.
“Nicole’s project evaluated if the growth of patient diagnostic specimens are affected by exposure to low dose X-rays from security scanning machines, which are routinely used when transporting materials between research and diagnostic labs,” the administration said in a news release. “Nicole hopes to use biotechnology to further the world’s understanding of cellular biology, replication, injury, and cellular healing, and is aiming to reach these career goals by pursuing an MD-PhD in biochemistry.”
Also on hand was Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna, 17, ofElmont, New York, who made headlines last week after she was accepted at all eight Ivy League schools, and Shemar Coombs, 19, of Philadelphia.
From the White House news release:
Augusta Uwamanzu-Nna was named a finalist in the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search for adding a nanoclay ingredient called attapulgite to cement slurries to improve the undersea cement seals that keep offshore oil wells from leaking. She found that adding nanoclay at just 0.3 percent of the total volume of the mixture markedly improved the mixture’s properties. Augusta’s initial interest in cement stemmed from her learning that production of cement accounts for 7% of human-made carbon emissions.
Shemar Coombs was bothered by an everyday annoyance—tangled headphone cords—and used computer-aided design (CAD) software and a 3D printer to invent a cellphone case with a specially-designed channel along its edge that allows headphones to be easily wrapped and secured, while remaining tangle-free. The teenage entrepreneur took the invention all the way to the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship National Challenge. Passionate about both business and music, Shemar plans to donate a portion of the profits from his budding business to music programs in developing countries.
Congratulations to these students for all of their hard work. We also hope the president enjoyed his final White House science fair. From the looks of it, he did!