Middle school and high school students with award-winning science projects in hand descended on the State Dining Room at the White House Tuesday. From a sanitizing lunchbox to using nanotechnology to eradicate cancer stem cells, these student projects represent the most cutting edge Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
Caroline “Carlie” Schulter and Matthew Tompkins of Kell High School's InvenTeam exhibited their device that helps in the clean up of oil spills. In 2010, Kell robotics won a grant from the Lemelson-Massachusetts Institute of Technology program to develop the remotely operated device.
The device has a conveyor system attached at the front of the chassis for use in oil collection. The conveyor transfers the oil into a containment unit on the chassis. A tread system is used to conquer minor hazards found in shallow waters and a GPS and camera aids in navigation. Solar panels on top of the craft allow for a longer period of use. The craft is light enough to be carried by six people yet sturdy enough to be deployed by large ship equipment.
The White House Science Fair hosted over 100 students from over 45 states, representing over 40 different competitions and organizations that work with students and inspire them to excel in STEM.
The White House Science Fair is part of President Obama’s Educate to Innovate program to lead American students in science and math achievement over the next decade.