No matter how comfortable you are in adulthood, no matter how much you’ve come into your own, nothing will make you want to be a kid again like a quick peek at the photos from the White House science fair. (I really miss science fairs, don’t you?)
A strong federal commitment to science research funding and education are fantastic, but raising the public profile of innovation breathes life into our field in a way no financial government initiative can quite pull off.
Raising the profile of science and science fairs is particularly important for drawing and retaining girls in the field. For girls who might be interested in science but shy away from the nerd factor, the prospect of a trip to Washington and a visit with the president might be exactly what they need to tweak the profile. If anyone in D.C. can make science cool, it’s President Obama. (And he displays a genuine interest in the projects and the participating students.)
At the fair, Obama said, “You know, when you win first place at a science fair, nobody’s rushing the field or dumping Gatorade over your head.” But really, the White House science fair comes pretty close.
Did you enjoy science fairs when you were young? What kinds of projects did you do?
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