President Obama celebrated students achievements in STEM by hosting the third annual White House Science Fair on May 27 2014. 30 states were represented in the group of 100 hundred students. From designing new apps, to solar panels, to making football helmets more concussion proof projects encompassing a wide range of STEM fields. This year the fair had a special focus on encouraging girls to pursue a career in science. As a part of this initiative to diversify the STEM workforce he also announced a $35 million Education Department competition for teacher training programs as well as mentoring efforts. He also singled out national science and math mentoring projects in Chicago; Philadelphia; San Francisco; Allentown, Pennsylvania; Indianapolis; the Research Triangle Park in North Carolina; and Wichita, Kansas as towns that will pilot new mentoring projects, and the development of new Americorps programming to offer science and technology classes for 18,000 low-income students.
One particular project from the Chesapeake Bay region was a team of five budding engineers from Baltimore, Ekeagwu Onyekachi, 20; Jevaughn Taylor, 19; Iragena Serge Bangamwabo, 20; Abhishek Yonghang-Subba, 18; and De’onte Green, 19 , whose project was on developing a solar powered hover craft made from environmentally friendly materials. The team has already received recognition at the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) Baltimore STEM business Plan Competition, where they received first place.
Delaware residents Aaron Knestaut, 13, Eric Long, 14, and Max Huhn, 13, also presented an environmentally focused project at the White House. As members of the “Zero Waste” team, they are concerned at the rate at which DE landfills are filling up. Their research suggests that half of the waste ending up in landfills could be used as compost. The team suggests that implementing curbside organic composting collection in DE will extend the life of DE’s landfills significantly. The Zero waste team has received a $25,000 grant from the Columbus Foundation Community for their innovative waste project.