The Broadcom MASTERS finalists got the opportunity of a lifetime on Monday, September 30 when they met President Obama and received an impromptu tour of the Oval Office!
First, the finalists were invited to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, where they met with Dr. John Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). Dr. Holdren discussed the importance of STEM education, hands-on research, and mentioned how he built rockets in his backyard when he was their age.
Then, the students were able to meet with additional Office of Science and Technology Policy staff in small groups. Each staffer talked about their specific area of responsibility and the finalists had an opportunity to ask questions.
Following that, the finalists were able to travel to the White House. While waiting in the Rose Garden, a Secret Service officer provided them with an interesting history of the building. Then President Obama arrived! He met each finalist, shook their hands, and asked where they were from. He told them how proud he was of their accomplishments, how important their work in the STEM fields was, and that it should continue to be celebrated. After a few photos, the President invited the finalists into the Oval Office where he gave them an impromptu 10-minute tour. The finalists were able to touch the President’s desk and he told them about the artwork and some early patents in the Oval Office.