U.S. President Barack Obama, along with NASA officials, gathered to honor the winners of the second annual White House Science Fair, held in the East Wing of the White House, on Wednesday. The winning projects will remain on display at the White House.
Students were awarded for achievements and excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In addition, two particular projects, NASA said, related directly to their own agency's goals.
These were from the robotics team "A Winning Robotics Alliance, with Astronauts Cheering Them On," represented by John Drake of Schaumburg, Ill.; Sean Murphy of Atascadero, Calif.; and Eric Bakan of San Jose, Calif. The team won the 2011 FIRST Robotics Competition, NASA officials said.
The second team noted was the "Young Women Rocketing to Nationals" team of Janet and Ana Karen Nieto of Presidio, Tx. who are a part of the Presidio High School Rocketry Team that made it to the national finals of the Team America Rocketry Challenge in 2011.
The White House Science Fair is an effort to spur student-interest in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
"Programs like this science fair help students develop critical skills and get hands-on experience that will serve them and our nation well in the future," said Charles Bolden, NASA's Chief, in a statement.
"These talented students are tomorrow's science leaders, and their skills will be critical to helping us make an American economy built to last," he added.