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Obama Hosts His Final White House Science Fair

He started the tradition in 2010

When Barack Obama took office in 2009 his administration pushed back against the Republican party’s staunch anti-science stances on climate change and evolution by pledging to help “make science cool.” So that same year, he launched the Educate to Innovate initiative to improve American students’ achievements in math and science, and in 2010 he hosted the first White House Science Fair. On Tuesday, Obama attended his sixth and final science fair as president.

The White House Science Fair started with the simple idea. “If you win the NCAA championship, you come to the White House,” Obama said. “Well, if you’re a young person and you produce the best experiment or design, the best hardware or software, you ought to be recognized for that achievement, too.” The event has grown over the years, and yesterday was its largest with 130 students representing more than 30 states along with alumni from each of the previous five White House Science Fairs.

Exhibits at this year’s science fair included a neuropathy study, an innovative new Ebola test, a presentation on chickens and an underwater robot. “I’ve just been able to see the unbelievable ingenuity and passion and curiosity and brain power of America’s next generation, and all the cool things that they do,” Obama said at his final fair. “I’ve also, by the way, had a chance to see an alarming number of robots.”

You can watch the full video of the science fair below:

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