For the second year, winners from The DuPont Challenge gathered at the White House with fellow science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) competition winners to exhibit their work for President Barack Obama on February 7, 2012. Jayme Warner (1st Place place, Senior Division), Michelle Woods (1st Place, Junior Division), and Jessica Steinort (3rd Place, Junior Division) were among the talented students invited to participate.
“What impresses me so much,” President Obama told the students after viewing their exhibits, “is not just how smart you are, but … the fact that you recognize you’ve got a responsibility to use your talents in service of something bigger than yourselves.”
Also in attendance were Charles Bolden, the head of NASA; Lisa Jackson, the Administrator of the EPA; Subra Suresh, the Director of the National Science Foundation; Neil DeGrasse Tyson, the director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City; and Bill Nye the Science Guy, science television personality.
The President reiterated the importance of STEM education for America’s future: “It’s young people like you that make me so confident that America’s best days are still to come. When you work and study and excel at what you’re doing in math and science, when you compete in something like this, you’re not just trying to win a prize today. You’re getting America in shape to win the future.”