White House to Host Second Annual Science Fair

The event will highlight middle school-aged winners of national science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competitions. 

Posted: 02/06/2012 05:30 PM EST

Move over celebrities and national leaders, the science fair is coming to the White House.

On Tuesday, Feb. 7, President Obama will host the second annual White House Science Fair. Student winners from science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competitions from across the country will display their exhibits of work, ranging from breakthrough research to new inventions.

In addition to viewing the exhibits, Obama will announce key steps that his administration and its partners are taking to help more students excel in math and science and earn STEM degrees.  

The number of STEM degrees received by Blacks in all levels of higher education dropped from 8.1 percent in 2001 to just 7.5 percent in 2009.

“If you win the NCAA championship, you come to the White House. 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 president said at the first-ever White House science fair in late 2010.

African-American students participating in the event include eighth graders Morgan Ard, Titus Walker and Robert Knight III of Monroeville Junior High School in Mobile, Alabama. The team won high honors at the South BEST robotics competition, where they mimicked industry production by designing and developing a product and delivering it to market through a corporate presentation, engineering notebook and trade show-style exhibit booth and robot competition. 

Lucas Cain Beal, Jayla Mae Dogan and Ashley Cassie Thomas of Paul Robeson-Malcolm X Academy in Detroit, Michigan, will also be in attendance. The Detroit team, all aged 13, won the Excellence in Engineering Award at the 2012 Michigan regional competition focused on designing a city around the theme of "Fuel Your Future: Imagine New Ways to Meet Our Energy Needs and Maintain a Healthy Planet."  

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(Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

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