Today marks the fifth annual White House Science Fair, an event that shines the spotlight on prize winning projects in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). President Obama has proved an enthusiastic advocate for the event during his time in office. “I love this event,” he told reporters last year. “This is one of my favorite things all year long.”
This year, President Obama plans to announce “new private-sector commitments to inspire and prepare more girls and boys to excel in the STEM fields,” especially those from traditionally underrepresented groups, to enter the field.
And any student would be hard pressed to not see the value in entering the field after seeing what White House Science Fair alumni have produced, and 2015 is no exception. This year–
- A 14-year-old from Naperville, IL is showcasing her app “Rethink,” which has proven 93% effective in stopping cyber-bullying messaging.
- An 18-year-old from Port Washington, NY, who struggles with scoliosis, has invented an implant that will help future children with scoliosis avoid painful surgeries.
- A 16-year-old from New York, NY, who has a grandfather with Alzheimer’s, was acutely aware of the risk of wandering from Alzheimer’s patients. Wandering patients can get lost, injure themselves, or others. So the student has created a sensor device that can detect when a wanderer stands up, apply pressure on his or her foot, and send an alert to the caregiver’s smartphone via Bluetooth. During six months of use, the device detected every instance of wandering, without any false positives.
It goes to show how students, when nurtured and given the opportunity, can turn the hardships in their lives into something truly brilliant. Click here to watch this year’s video, and highlights from past years.