Eleven Society for Science & the Public (Society) science fair alumni attended the fifth White House Science Fair today. All eleven students were participants in at least one of the Society’s prestigious science education programs, which include the Intel Science Talent Search, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, and the Broadcom MASTERS.
The students participating were Nikhil Behari, 14, of Sewickley, PA; Kelly Charley, 16, from Teec Nos Pos, AZ; Bluye DeMessie, 18 from Mason, OH; Anvita Gupta, 17, from Scottsdale, AZ; Nathan Han, 16, from Boston, MA; Holly Jackson, 14, from San Jose, CA; Eric Koehlmoos, 18, from Granville, IA; Alon Millet, 17, from Hackensack, NJ; Natalie Ng, 19, from Cupertino, CA; Ruchi Pandya, 18, from Saratoga, CA; and Harry Paul, 18, from Port Washington, NY. This is the fifth White House Science Fair that SSP alumni have been invited to attend.
“Events like the White House Science Fair not only reward successful and dedicated young researchers and inventors, but they also help inspire the next generation of students and build the talent pipeline,” said Maya Ajmera, CEO and President of Society for Science & the Public, Publisher of Science News, and a Science Talent Search alumna. “We congratulate all of the students selected to attend and thank President Obama for his recognition of the importance of STEM education and hands-on learning.”
“There’s a reason so many young people love science. It’s fun, it’s fascinating, and it helps us solve the mysteries of our world,” said President Obama. “I want more boys and girls across America to get the chance to study science, technology, engineering and math – and maybe have the opportunity to go on to careers in those fields, too. So I’m glad so many organizations are stepping up to support STEM education. When we invest in our young people, we invest in our future.”
In conjunction with the White House Science Fair, the Society also announced a commitment to launch a pilot Society mini-grant program in 2015. This program will support under-served and socio-economically challenged students who have done scientific research by helping them to take the next step and submit their research for presentation and competition. Grants will be provided to individuals such as teachers, counselors, or mentors who agree to serve as an advocate for a group of 3-5 students and assist them in transitioning from conducting a scientific or engineering research project to completing the application for scientific competition(s).
“We think it’s vitally important to continue building and diversifying the pool of students participating in science fairs and other STEM competitions.” adds Ajmera. “This pilot grant will let us test out, on a small scale, if having a dedicated advocate impacts participation rates.”
Read the press release for more information about the participating alumni.