Science

Watch now: Robots and algae fuel at the White House science fair

Image Credit: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151605103504238&set=a.158628314237.115142.63811549237&type=1&theater

Remember that classic volcano you build out of papier mache or the plants you grew in light and dark spaces to prove sunshine really is a necessity? Well, the White House is having its own science fair today — with kids who are smarter than you.

This is the third year in President Obama’s administration that the White House has thrown a science fair, and this year it’s promising a display of impressive projects ranging from an “economically-viable algae biofuel” to a cancer-finding computer program.

The science fair is being hosted by two gentlemen you might recognize from the science (and science fiction) arenas: Levar Burton and Bill Nye. We were lucky enough to sit down with Burton last year to talk about his own creation: the Reading Rainbow app. He was passionate about reaching children through technology.

The two spoke with a student named Sylvia who had created a robot that can paint with watercolors. She was asked to explain a “maker,” something she considers herself.

“Well makers are people who like tinkering, they have their own hobbies,” she said. “To be a maker, you just get out there and do something, actually put something together and have fun.”

At the fair, the White House announced a new project called U.S. 2020 that involves a number of tech companies who have asked 20 percent of their workforce to commit 20 hours toward getting youth interested in STEM, or, science technology, engineering, and math. The companies involved include Cisco, Sandis, and Cognizant.

In addition, the White House is also supporting a number of other initiatives this summer.

Mozilla has also partered with the National Writing Project for a similar cause. It is launching its own STEM campaign to get “teachers, technologists, and families” involved in STEM over the summer.

Obama Science Fair image via White House Facebook

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