President Obama Hosts 5th White House Science Fair

president and youth
President Obama will also announce over $230 million in new private sector commitments to get more girls and boys.

President Obama will host the 2015 White House Science Fair today and celebrate the student winners of a broad range of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competitions from across the country.

As part of the Fair, President Obama will announce over $230 million in new private sector commitments to get more girls and boys, especially those that are under-represented, inspired, and prepared to excel in the STEM fields. With the commitments being made today, the President’s “Educate to Innovate” campaign has resulted in over $1 billion in financial and in-kind support for STEM programs.

A sampling of the exhibits at the White House Science Fair (The full list of student exhibitors is available here.)

Scoliosis Patient Designs Implant to help Kids avoid Spinal Surgeries (Harry Paul, 17

Port Washington, NY).  17-year-old Harry Paul was born with congenital scoliosis, a curvature of the spine that, in growing kids, can impede the development of vital organs. Growing up, Harry endured more than a dozen spinal surgeries to help correct the problem. Now, he’s working to help other young people with scoliosis avoid the burdensome operations that can get in the way of living life. He designed a new type of spinal implant that expands over time, helping developing spines stay straighter as they grow, and lengthening the time young patients can go between surgeries. Harry’s implant could potentially help lower the number of risky procedures needed from over a dozen to less than five over the course of child’s surgical treatment. His design earned him a place as a semifinalist at the 2014 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

Solar-Heating System Brings Warmth to Communities off the Grid (Kelly Charley, 15, Farmington, NM). Kelly Charley, 15, noticed that communities lacking electricity often build fires to stay warm, but that particles and ash from wood-burning fireplaces can be dangerous to breathe. She developed a solar-powered radiation system that circulates air and heats the interior of buildings. It can run without access to electricity or running water. Kelly, a sophomore at Navajo Preparatory School in Farmington, New Mexico, received a United National Indian Tribal Youth 25 under 25 Youth Leadership Award for her work to promote spiritual, mental, physical, and social well-being. Her heater design made her a finalist at the 2014 International Science and Engineering Fair.