Being at the White House and heard by all these brilliant people really gave me faith our invention could go out to the real world. I think this type of recognition is going to really help push our invention out.
Getting ready to meet the president was an experience in itself. Once I heard his deep, constructed voice in the other room, it really hit me that I’m about to be talking to the leader of the free world. The homie Sean was making sure we had ourselves composed as the President approached our room. He stepped into the room and it was heart dropping to see him without a monitor separating us.
So, he is tall. He has surprisingly soft hands but his handshake had a firm grip.
Not only was it surreal, but also inspiring to see the President acknowledging the real world impact our invention could have. I remember this project being a talk in room 121 and now we made it to the White House with the President’s support.
The icing on the cake was getting a selfie with Bill Nye. Nice guy! Really knows what he’s talking about and is genuinely interested in what he is talking to you about.
As difficult as it is for you or me to believe, we had just met, talked to, and shook hands with the president. How awesome is that? Did I mention that I also petted his dog?
This experience of presenting in the White House Science Fair is truly incredible, and I still have trouble wrapping my head around it. We had the opportunity to meet and hear about the projects of inventors, engineers, game designers, and everyone in between, all of whom were the same age or even younger than us!
Just by walking through the hallways, you could really feel the sheer excitement and enthusiasm that everyone just positively shone with. Everywhere you turned, there were science department heads, NASA officials, presidential advisers, and, of course, the iconic Bill Nye. I’m quite certain that he took selfies with nearly everyone he met, my happy self included.
During those tense 5 minutes waiting for the President to enter, however, we were not such happy campers, but rather jittery, hyperventilating, nervous wrecks. With the help of Sean, the leader of our Red Room, we were able to sufficiently calm down to give a smooth and successful presentation. It also helped that the President was extremely easygoing and a genuinely a nice guy to talk to.
This was, once again, incredible, and I still can’t believe it’s real.
We would like to thank Lemelson-MIT for the amazing opportunity they provided us with. We would not have been able to do any of this without them and we are so grateful. Although only two students were allowed to attend due to budget, this was a huge honor for the entire team. Without the help of all the students, the parents, our sponsors, and our mentors, none of this would have been possible.