President Obama Tours the 2015 White House Science Fair Exhibits

President Obama Tours the 2015 White House Science Fair Exhibits

The President: All right. Hello. Good to see you. Tiye Garrett: Good
morning, Mr. President. The President: Good morning. What’s your name? Tiye Garrett: So,
I’m Tiye Garrett. The President: Good to see you. Tiye is spelled how? Tiye Garrett: T-I-Y-E. The President: T-I-Y-E. Good to see you. And we’ve got a leaf. Tiye Garrett: Yes, we do. The President:
(inaudible) fossil. Tiye Garrett: Yes, would you
like to hear about my findings? The President: I am thrilled
to learn about your findings. First of all,
where are you from? Tiye Garrett: Denver, Colorado. The President: Okay,
and what grade are you? Tiye Garrett: I’m a
junior in high school. The President: You’re a junior? Tiye Garrett: Yep. The President: So, you’re
going through the whole SAT application process,
all that stuff. Tiye Garrett: Yeah. The President: Yeah,
it’s a busy year. Tiye Garrett: Yes. The President: But not too busy
that you couldn’t pull off some outstanding projects, so let’s
hear about what exactly you’re doing. Tiye Garrett: All righty, so
I’m assuming you’ve seen a leaf before (laughs). The President: I have. Tiye Garrett: All righty,
so if you look carefully, every leaf has a
system of veins; these are called
leafination (sic) systems. These are very important to
scientists because they can tell us all sorts of
things about leaves. So, right now because
there are more than 350, 000 species of flora
and fauna on the planet, we’re trying to track them all,
so the eventual goal is to basically have a registry
online, a leafination system, so that scientists can share
knowledge over the Internet instead of having to send
samples back and forth The President: Right. Makes sense. Tiye Garrett: So, the current
way to do this has many problems; it’s very,
very expensive, and it completely
destroys the sample, so I tried to see if there’s
more economically viable and efficient way to do this. So, I looked at the
most advanced research, and this man discovered that
x-ray photons were really helpful in imaging
leafination systems. So at first, my
first thought was, “I’m going to build an
x-ray machine” (laughs). The President: Right. Tiye Garrett: So, I got online
and found the original blueprint for an x-ray machine and quickly
discovered that was not the direction to go
because it’s dangerous; it’s not economically
efficient in any way, so I thought to myself, “Why
does it have to be x-ray photons? Why can’t it be
another light source?” So, I actually — I ended up
using the LED flashlight on my IPhone and a scanner that was
purchased by the Denver Museum of Science and Nature,
which is where I hail from. I was part of the teen
science scholars program. The President: Right Tiye Garrett: And I discovered
that if I scanned a leaf, normal scanning, and I shined
my IPhone flashlight over it, I was able to image leafination
systems successfully, so — The President: There it is. Tiye Garrett: — sort of
as a basis of comparison, this is the one that
was done professionally. Yeah. Tiye Garrett: Thousands of
dollars, lots of hours, and then I was able to do this
one in about two minutes on my own. The President: Even better. Tiye Garrett: Yes. And one of the reasons why this
project is important is because recently in science, there’s
this big leap to get citizens in science because there simply
aren’t enough scientists to do it all, so by having
citizens collect data, scientists can analyze it and
draw their own conclusions. The President: Right. Tiye Garrett: So, the thing
about this process is everyone has an iPhone nowadays, so it’s
easy to have access to that, and a scanner is
basic office supplies, so if I was just about to
teach people this technique, we could have citizens uploading
leafination systems into their computers, and we could pick the
best ones and use them online for the registry. And the reason why I was able to
do this project is because I had an internship in paleontology
in the summer of 2014 because leafination systems can help
us track evolution in plants, which is one of the reasons
why I have the fossils here. The President: Yeah. Tiye Garrett: And so, that’s one
reason why I was able to do this because I had support from the
Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and I have
mentors and faculty, but this was — this was me. The President: Were you
always interested in geology? Tiye Garrett: I’ve actually
always been interested in leaves and plants, so
when I was younger, I did my — I did my very first
science project when I was a first grader. I looked at algae, and I tried
to see which lake in Denver had the most algae. And then, as I went to middle
school — so the Denver Museum of Nature and Science hosts an
annual science fair called the Denver Metro Regional Science
and Engineering Fair. And the first year, I got an
excitement award; the second, I won the science fair
and got to go to state, and I won a national
science fair as well; I took second place at the
National Society of Black Engineers Science Fair. And then, in my eighth grade
year, I took third place, and each time I did
something concerning leaves, but this was my — this was my
— really my first time doing anything with
leafination systems. The President: One
last question on this. Did you — was there a
particular technique that made the scanner with the
LED light work best? And did you have to try a bunch
of different techniques out, and did you just kind of
arrive at this on your own? Or was there sort of a theory
that allowed you to say to yourself this might work? Tiye Garrett: So, it was towards
the end of the summer when we were supposed to be wrapping
up our research project when I discovered this, and I
discovered it completely by chance because — The President: That’s true for
a lot of scientists and their discoveries. Tiye Garrett: (laughs) Yeah, so
I had just been messing with the scanner, and said, “I don’t
know what to do at this point; maybe I should have
built the x-ray machine, ” which I really thought
I could not go that route, and so I was like — well,
I was pretty desperate, so I just shines it,
and it to worked. And one thing that I found is
the further away you hold the light, the better the
picture of the leafination, and one thing that I did was I
tried sprinkling water on the leaves because there’s
a substance called the (unintelligible), which is the
only 30-letter word I know. The President: Yeah, and you
pronounce it really well. Tiye Garrett: Thank you. And I enjoy saying it. The President: I’ll test you
guys on that pronunciation. Tiye Garrett: So, it worked
really well with x-ray photons, so I was wondering if it would
work with my method; however, I got online and quickly arrived
at the conclusion that it was too expensive. So, I would like to
try it with that, but another thing that I found
that helps imaging leafination systems is there’s this
packaging plastic called polyphenol fluoride, and if you
put a sheet on top of it before using the flashlight
and imaging the leaf, it creates a better image. The President: So, what do
you want to do with all this knowledge? Tiye Garrett: Well, one of the
things is I would like to teach it to other people, so we could
get the citizen scientists movement taken off the ground. The President: Yeah Tiye Garrett: And, eventually —
because this is my junior year of high school, so people are
asking me a lot what do I want to be when I grow up, and
I think I want to be a biotechnical engineer. The President: Excellent. We’re so proud of you. What a great presentation. Come on. Let’s get a good picture. Tiye Garrett: (laughs) The President: All right. All right, look at
Pete right here. Were your parents
ever in science? Tiye Garrett: My
mother is a doctor, and my dad is a director
of his own school. The President: Okay, so you had
to do pretty good in school. Tiye Garrett: Yeah (laughs). The President: Otherwise you
were going to be in trouble, huh? Tiye Garrett: Yes. The President: Well, way to go. We’re so proud of you. It’s a wonderful presentation. And we’re really
excited about it. (inaudible) Good luck to you. Tiye Garrett: Thank you. The President: That’s wonderful. Hey, how are you doing? Harry Paul: Good
morning, Mr. President. The President: What’s your name? Harry Paul: My
name is Harry Paul. I’m from (inaudible). The President: Good to see you. What have we got here? Harry Paul: So, I was born
with congenital scoliosis — The President: Yeah. Harry Paul: — and when
scoliosis happens so early in development, there’s really not
enough space for the heart and lungs to develop. The President: Right. Harry Paul: And the treatments
that they do currently are highly evasive because you
put the rods in, and keep — The President: You have to —
you have to repeat it over and over again. I was reading about this, yeah. Harry Paul: That happened to me,
and it works, but it causes — The President: It’s painful;
there’s complications potentially, and
all that stuff — Harry Paul: I’m out of school,
and things we don’t want to happen. The President: Yeah. Harry Paul: So, what I did
is I designed an implant. This is an exaggerated
(inaudible) that grows along with the child’s spine and
keeps it straight as growth is happening, so you can have more
space between surgeries and reduce the number of
surgeries overall. The President: What’s the
principle that allows it to adjust as you grow? Harry Paul: So, it’s all in
the shape and the size of its (inaudible), so I had probably
over 30 or 40 versions of this that I kept doing something
called finite element analysis on that sort of looks at the
mathematical specs (sic) of it to minimize them, so
that they won’t break. And I sort of added in all the
different features based on what I was reading and how
I was seeing it work, but the problem is that
something strong enough doesn’t mean it’s going to work, so
really the only way to test that out is to either put it
in an animal or human, and I didn’t want to do that,
and I couldn’t do that, so instead, I made my own
by building a mechanical, growing model of
the spinal column. The President: (affirmative) Harry Paul: You see here that —
so, I 3D printed each vertebrae, and I put gears and tools inside
of each one that simulates the natural growth the
child would go through, so that when I attach the
drill, they separate — The President: Right. Harry Paul: — and this is sort
of the actual version that I didn’t make of this implant,
and this should have, based on these things, a
50-degree curvature right now, but my implant and the rods
are keeping it straight, allowing growth to happen. The President: So, it would be
— at what age did you decide, “You know what? There’s got to be a
better way to do this, and let me start kind of reading
up and thinking about it?” Harry Paul: So, my first was
surgery was when I was two. The President: Right. Harry Paul: And it
was a few years later, really when I started
in high school, and I knew I loved science — The President: Right. Harry Paul: — and I knew I
was interested in research, and so I remember one night,
I just went on my research database, and I
Googled “scoliosis, ” and the first article was
about my surgeon Dr. (inaudible) who had talked to me about
what was happening to me — The President: That’s cool. Harry Paul: — all throughout. And I was like, “Okay,
maybe I’m onto something.” The President: Yeah. Harry Paul: And so I just
read everything I could. The President: Right. Harry Paul: And as I was reading
what was out there and what people were working on, I sort
of came up with my own ideas of what I thought it should be. My first model was horrible; I
don’t want to look at it again, but I worked on it a few
years and developed this, and now I’m working with an
engineering program in Virginia to, hopefully,
bring it to market. The President: The — how
are you able to test it? You obviously modeled
it and simulated it, and I’m assuming that some
computer models can also help, but at some point, you know,
this is about as complicated a medical device as you
can imagine, right? So, for it to actually be
implanted in somebody would require all kinds of
complicated FDA approvals. How do you go about that? Harry Paul: So, you — the way
I looked at it was in balancing the strength of the implant
with the functionality. What’s strongest is just
going to be a sheet of metal. The President: Right. Harry Paul: That’s not going
to break, but in children, you can’t do that, so when
an adult has scoliosis, that’s what we do; we put screw
screws at every level and lodging plates along it, and
that’s what keeps them really straight. The President: Right. Harry Paul: But when
you do that to a child, they won’t grow anymore. The President: Right. Harry Paul: So, it’s a matter
of allowing for the most growth that’s going to be able, while
still preventing the curvature from getting worse. The President: Right. How are we going to be
able to test it out though? Harry Paul: So, we test
it in other bone models, so you can implant something
like this in a bone that isn’t — that doesn’t have scoliosis. Put it easily, so instead
of curving the rods, you just put the
rods in straight. The President: Right. Harry Paul: And
make sure it works. You can do that on someone’s
leg, in an animal spine, anything like that, and you
use the mathematics to find an element analysis to sort of
bring the two of them and make a replica computer model, and the
physical model is working the way that it should. The President: Are
you in college now? Harry Paul: Yes, I’m a
freshman at Tufts University. The President: Fantastic. This is so impressive. Harry Paul: Thank you so much. The President: I’m
so proud of you. Harry Paul: Thank you. The President: Can’t
wait to see it working. And the notion that, you know,
you take your own experiences and be able to apply it, what
a powerful story that is. Harry Paul: Thank you. The President: And inspiring for
other people who are suffering from the disease. Harry Paul: I think it’s always
good to take a bad experience, and if you use it
to do something, it makes it a whole lot better. The President:
Really proud of you. Come on. Let’s get a good picture. Where’s Pete? There he is. You never know
where he might be. Harry Paul: (laughs) The President: Fantastic. Harry Paul: Thank you. The President: That’s great. Harry Paul: Nice to meet you. The President: Thank you. Hi, how are you? Anvita Gupta: Good. How old are you? The President:
What is your name? Anvita Gupta: I’m Anvita Gupta. The President: Anvita,
good to see you. And what do we got here? What are we working on? First of all,
where are you from? Anvita Gupta: I’m from
Scottsdale, Arizona. The President: And are you just
started college or still in high school? Anvita Gupta: I’m a
high school senior. The President:
High school senior, and where are you
going to go next year? Anvita Gupta: Still waiting for
all the decisions to come back. The President: All right. Fantastic. Anvita Gupta: Yeah. The President: So,
what do we got here? What are we working on? Anvita Gupta: We’re working
on drug development. So, it currently takes about 10
years and $5 billion to bring a single drug to market, which
is a real problem when we’re looking for drugs for diseases
like Ebola or exciting finding new drugs for cancer, so what
I did was I developed a novel approach of combining artificial
intelligence and biochemistry to train the computer to
autonomously find drugs for diseases like cancer,
tuberculosis, and Ebola. The President: Right. Anvita Gupta: So, my
algorithm was able, when applied to the
cancer protein thrombin, it was able to find an
FDA-approved thrombin inhibitor and rank it first out of 3,000
other FDA-approved drugs. And I was actually able to
find four new inhibitors for tuberculosis, their
natural compounds, and using my algorithm, and
they’ve been experimentally validated in the lab. The President: What’s the
concept behind the algorithm? Anvita Gupta: Okay. So, the algorithm is so unique
and generally applicable because we target intrinsically
disorder proteins, so these are proteins that
change shape constantly; they’re discovered
recently, and when mutated, they cause a lot of
different diseases, but finding of drug for them is
really difficult because it’s like finding a key for a lock
that keeps changing, right? So, my question’s
a little different. I looked for a drug that mimics
the power of the disordered protein that does the binding,
so what we can do is we can basically trick the other
proteins in your cell into binding to the drug instead
of binding to the disordered protein, and then that way
we’re kind of able to block the disordered protein from doing
anything and treat the disease. The President: So, are you
taking — are you applying the algorithm to existing drugs that
are already out there to see if they have new applicabilities? Anvita Gupta: Yeah, that’s what
we did for tuberculosis and also for Ebola because that’s really
good for finding drugs way more quickly, right? Because you have already tested
those drugs and they’ve been shown to be safe in humans. The President: So, you’re
saying you’re finding that the algorithm — it’s already been
validated in subsequent studies. Anvita Gupta: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, it’s been validated
for cancer, tuberculosis, and we’re still looking for
ways to test the new Ebola — The President: Sounds like a
pretty powerful algorithm. Anvita Gupta: Yeah. The President: How did
you come up with it? Anvita Gupta: So, the way they
find drugs currently is they take, basically, the order of
thousands of thousands of them, and they start pipetting
against the protein, and I started reading about
these disordered proteins, and I thought there had to
be a better way to do it. So, I just tried the look for
the most elegant approach I could find. This was it. The President: Just saying, I
don’t know what y’all have been doing; this is what
she’s been doing. So, the — so I assume that you
want to continue in this field. Anvita Gupta: Yes. The President: And in light of
all the breakthroughs that are being made in terms of genetic
sequencing and, you know, being able to combine big data
pools with algorithms like yours, potentially we can
short-circuit pathways to discover potential
cures for every disease. You’ll still have to
do clinical trials, but what this does is it
narrows, very rapidly, sort of what might work
and what might not work — Anvita Gupta: Right. The President: — and could
really compress them — the length of time between — Anvita Gupta: Exactly. The President: — us thinking
we have a lead and actually bringing a drug to market. Anvita Gupta: Right because we
use simulations right now just almost everything from
like diapers to cars, and I think medicine should
be reaching the same point, so that’s really what
I’ve been working on. The President: Well, the —
Holdren are we — where’s Holdren? Male Speaker 1: Right here, sir. The President: So, we’re going
to put this young lady in touch with our precision
medicine team, right? Male Speaker 1: You
bet, absolutely. The President: Because we just
launched a big initiative around these kinds of
things, so you should, you know — don’t you think she
should be interning — or she should be working on the team? Male Speaker 1: You bet, yeah. Anvita Gupta: That sounds great. The President: Because
we got a big push; NIH is doing a
lot of this stuff. Excellent. Come on over here. There you go. Fantastic. So proud of you. Anvita Gupta: Thank
you very much. The President: Thank you. How are you?>>Good morning, Mr. President. The President: What’s your name? Sahil Doshi: My
name is Sahil Doshi, and I’m a freshman at
St. Claire High School. The President: You’re a freshman
at St. Claire High School. So, what do you got here? Sahil Doshi: We’ve got a
revolutionizing energy source that utilizes carbon dioxide
to generate electricity. The President: Okay,
so show me what you got Sahil Doshi: All right, so first
I came up with the idea by thinking of the two of the
biggest global problems in the world: the energy crisis in
developing countries and carbon dioxide concentration
in the atmosphere. So, me being a natural
problem solver, I thought, “How can I connect these
two problems together?” And that’s when I came about
thinking about a battery that uses carbon dioxide, so my
first — my first test involved actually testing, how does
carbon dioxide affect the cell potential, and I found that, as
you increase the concentration of the carbon dioxide in the
electrolyte of the battery, it significantly improves the
cell potential as shown with the orange line and the yellow line. They significantly outperform
the other batteries, and so — The President: How so? Why is that? Sahil Doshi: The reason that
happens is because carbon dioxide is, with water,
is called carbonic acid. It has a weak PH of
only 6.5 as an acid, but the more carbon dioxide you
put into a solution or you put into water, more carbonate ions
and bicarbonate ions form, so it’s more
ionically conductive, and so the more ions there are
that are available in the cell that means the cell
potential increase. And so, if you can increase the
carbon dioxide and put it in a small concentration, you’re
going to significantly improve the voltage. The President: Right. Sahil Doshi: So, once
I had that solved, I had the carbon dioxide in my
battery, so I’m thinking, “Okay, what else can I implement? What else can I do to make this
environmentally and economically friendly?” I thought about recycled
materials because, if we can use recycled materials
that are bought from the consumer, we would fulfill one
of the biggest economic theories in history, which is money flows
between pre-existing consumers; why not materials? So, let’s say I’m a consumer who
has a recycled aluminum cans, but I’m just anyways
going to throw them away; why don’t I turn them into like
a corporate or covert office, and the producer would pay the
consumer for turning in those materials, would compile
the batteries together, and sell the battery
back to consumers — The President: Okay. Sahil Doshi: —
direct-to-consumer connection, and the consumer saves money. And so, with all that in
mind, I thought, “Okay, this is going to be my
final product design.” I had aluminum foil, a
commonly recycled material, and silver-plated,
copper guitar strings, which is a really big
issue with guitar players. We change our strings
every month or so. The President: You’re
a guitar player? Sahil Doshi: Yeah,
I’m a guitar player. The President: Okay. All right, so you had a bunch of
old, copper guitar strings — Sahil Doshi: Yeah, I
had a lot, a lot, a lot. The President: — had to
do something with them. Sahil Doshi: Yes. The President: All right. Sahil Doshi: So, and then my
salt bridge was a three-inch scouring pad, again, going back
to that recyclable material aspect of it, and then I had
— my electrolyte was sodium chloride, liquid ammonia,
and carbonic acid. The President: Okay. Sahil Doshi: And the latex
material was used to separate the cells from one another, and
so this product right now of getting — I have a
patent pending on it, but I see a bigger vision
for energy in and of itself. I see a CO2 capture system and
an energy generation system all happening in one confined space,
and that’s what I’m working on right now over here. So, these are just a couple of
failed attempts at developing a CO2 capture system, so I
started to think about, how do humans breathe? We breathe in oxygen, but we
breathe out carbon dioxide, so if I reverse the process,
theoretically I should be able to take in carbon dioxide and
release all the other gases that I don’t need. And so, here’s just some —
here’s an example of me kind of replicating the pressure
gradients that happen within our lungs and in the atmosphere, and
the balloons try to represent how our lungs expand. The balloon would expand,
sucking in the air, and then when it would contract,
it would let go of the air, and so this was the CO2
capture aspect of Cell, and eventually three to four
years down the road moving forward, what I intend to do is
I intend to have a CO2 capture aspect on top of this box. And on the bottom would be
the energy generation system, so the entire thing’s happening
in one box: user friendly and easy to use, and then all the
energy is being wirelessly transmitted to nearby sources,
so that there’s no need for cables or anything of that sort. The President: I tell you what,
the — you got — you’re going to be busy over these
next four years. Sahil Doshi: Yeah. The President: You’re just
a freshman in high school? Sahil Doshi: I’m a freshman. The President: Man, way to go. Sahil Doshi: Thank
you very much. The President: All right. Come one. Pete. Fantastic. Sahil Doshi: Good
luck on your bracket. (laughter) The President: Oh,
it’s already torn up. It’s over. It’s over. How is it going, team? This is a — we’ve got an
outstanding rocket team right here. Amari DeSouza: Oh, yeah. The President:
What is your name? Amari DeSouza: My
name is Amari DeSouza. The President: Hey,
Amari, how’re you doing? What is your name? Gabriel St. Kitts: My
name is Gabriel St. Kitts. The President: Good
to see you, Gabriel. Stephanie Bullock:
Stephanie Bullock. Good morning, Mr. President. The President: Good
to see you, Stephanie. Shimeeka Stanley:
Shimeeka Stanley. The President: Shimeeka? Good to see you. Maria Heywood: Maria Heywood. The President: Maria,
good to see you, and where are you guys from? Amari DeSouza:
We’re from the U.S. Virgin Islands. The President: U.S. Virgin Islands, and you guys are
the rocket team for what school? Stephanie Bullock: Illiana
Christian Jena high school. The President: Outstanding. So, tell me about how
things have been going. Amari DeSouza: Things
are going great. We’re launching our Team
American Rocketry Challenge, which is the world’s
biggest rocket contest. The President: Right. Amari DeSouza: It hosts 700
teams and about 5,000 students. And out of those 700 teams,
only 100 teams qualify for the finals. The President: Right. The — so how did you guys get
involved with the rocket team? Stephanie Bullock: Well, there
is a local (inaudible) at the school, and it’s funded by our
adviser, Mr. Steve Bullock, and these are students who
have a passion in rocketry, so they join the competition,
and for six years so far, we have completed in third
(inaudible) the Rocketry Challenge. The President: So, how are you
feeling about your model for this year, good? Stephanie Bullock:
Confident, very confident. The President: You
feel confident. Stephanie Bullock: Oh, yeah. The President: I like that. You sounds confident. Stephanie Bullock: Yes. The President: The — what
refinements have you made to your model that makes you
confident that this thing is going to go gang busters? Stephanie Bullock: Well, as
you can see right here — this rocket right here is from our
rocket that we use — that we are currently going to use for
Team America Rocketry Challenge. The President: Okay, hold on,
I want everybody to see the rocket. Stephanie Bullock: Okay, so
you see — as you can see, this rocket right here — there
are two different rocket nose cones. This one is a pointed one, and
this one is a rounded sort of nose cone. The reason why we use this
one is because it has — it’s lighter; it’s lighter in mass,
and we try not to get — we’re trying to be in a range of a
certain weight for our rocket, so for our competition, we
calculated that the specific way for us to get — for our
criteria is at least 17 ounces. So, our Team America Rocketry
Challenge has three criteria. It has a height objective, a
flight direction objective, and a payload objective. The President: Right. Stephanie Bullock:
For the height, it has to go at least 800 feet;
flight duration: 46 to 48 seconds; and a payload
of one raw egg. The President: It has
the egg right there. Stephanie Bullock: Right there. The President: That’s a payload. Stephanie Bullock: Yes, it is. The President: Okay. Stephanie Bullock:
Our astronaut. The President:
(laughs) astronaut. Stephanie Bullock: So, in
certain — in different years, the criteria is changing because
TARC wants to inspire new creativity for other — for
all the teams, so for example, in different competitions, the
height would be in the 700 range — 700, 725 — the time
range is a different range, and the payload can also be
two raw eggs instead of one, and they might have to face
vertical or have horizontal in our payload section. The President: Right. Stephanie Bullock: So, right
here is our payload section. We wrap our eggs in bubble wrap
because this is our — the most successful thing
we’ve used so far. The President: Right. Stephanie Bullock: So, our one
raw egg vertically goes right here, and right below our
payload compartment is our alternator bay. This is a unique component of
our rocket because we came up with the idea. If you look at a computer — The President: A little — a
little circuit down there. Stephanie Bullock: Yeah, if you
look a computer motherboard, you know, there are different
parts connected to the general motherboard. So, we came up with the idea in
using a hard cardboard material and attaching our
alternator to it; therefore, it would prevent any type of
malfunction or it being damaged while it’s in the rocket, so we
put two slots on either side of our alternator bay, and just
slide it in, and therefore, there’s no way of it moving
around as it — when our rocket launches. This is our last
component of our rocket. This is our engine
rocket component. This is where we
hold our engine, and the engine that we use,
the F20-4 engine; this engine, we have tested it many times,
and it gave us our required height of at least 800 feet. And, of course,
these are our fins. We have a specific design for
our fins because we use balsa wood, for one, and
our fins is very thin, so it’s more aerodynamic and
will cut through the air, and it would make it fly faster
and reach to our required height. The President: So, you feel
very good about it, huh? Stephanie Bullock: Of course. I feel very confident
about this rocket. The President: So, when
is the actual contest? Amari DeSouza: The actual
contest takes place in May. The President: In May, huh? Stephanie Bullock: (affirmative)
At Manassas, Virginia. The President: How exciting. Stephanie Bullock:
It is very exciting. The President: I want to
wish you guys all the luck. What grades are you in? Amari DeSouza: I’m in 7th grade. The President: Seventh. Stephanie Bullock: I’m in 12th. The President: Twelfth. Gabriel St. Kitts: I’m in 8th. The President: Eighth. Shimeeka Stanley: I’m in 10th. Maria Heywood: Seventh. The President: Okay, so
we’re well represented. Stephanie Bullock: Yes, we are. The President: Seventh to 12th. Come on. Let’s get a good picture. Pete, we got to get — we got to
make sure we get the rocket in here, so let’s — here, let’s
slide over just a little bit. So, Pete, maybe
you could — here, why don’t you get in
front of me, young lady? There we go. That way we can get
everybody in here. Good luck. Stephanie Bullock: Thank you. The President: Proud of you. Hope all of you continue
to study science and math. Stephanie Bullock: Oh,
yes, of course study. The President: Huh? Okay. Stephanie Bullock: (inaudible) The President: How are you? What’s your name? Sergio Corral: My
name is Sergio Corral. The President: Sergio. Isela Martinez:
I’m Isela Martinez. The President: Good to see you. Where are you guys from? Isela Martinez: We’re from Carl
Hayden High School in Phoenix, Arizona. The President: Phoenix? The — this is your robot? Isela Martinez: Yes — Sergio Corral: Sir. Isela Martinez: So, I’m guessing
you’re familiar with first draft. So, this is last year’s robot,
so we had six weeks to build this specific
robot of last year. So, what we have — we pretty much had to do last year was we had had to get the ball, and we had
— we picked it up from the bottom here, and we put
— and from then on, it went to our catapult, and
then it threw onto certain goals, different points for, you
know, higher and lower ones. The President: Right. Sergio Corral: Another objective
of the game is that you have to pass from one
robot to another — The President: Okay. Sergio Corral: — and so if you
just got the ball and just shot it yourself, you
would get 10 points. If you got the ball,
pass it to one member, and that member pass
it to another member, and then you get a
shot, you get 40 points, so they kind of emphasize the
cooperation with your team in that game. And some design
feature of the robot, in order to complete the task,
we have these aluminum arms that are controlled with a mini CIM
motor that have preset places that we want. We have a potentiometer here
that senses where the motor is or — so we have two positions. We have the down position, which
we use to grab the ball that’s — when it’s on the ground, and
we have the up position that we use to grab the ball — that we
use to place the ball on the catapult and also grab any
balls that get thrown at us, and so with this potentiometer,
we can go through both positions really fast using code. In order to throw the ball, we
have these two — these two giant systems that are
controlled using pressurized air. So, once we get the ball,
and we put it up here — The President: Watch out Pete. Sergio Corral: It’s not — (laughter) We then shoot it using
pressurized air out like that. The President:
How far did it go? Sergio Corral: The goal is
about six-and-a-half feet tall, and it’s pretty wide, so
depending where we are on the field, we have — we
shoot it differently, so when we’re above
the center of field, we shoot it really hard — The President: Right. Sergio Corral: –horizontally
because we’re pretty far way, so it has enough time to travel,
but when we’re like really up close to the wall — The President: You want
a little more waft. Sergio Corral: Yes, and so
there’s — it’s really hard to do that with just pneumatics
because it’s kind of hard to control. It’s — so like, with the motor,
you can tell it goes this speed, and then it will go
slower; with pneumatics, you kind of just have on or off. The President: Right. Sergio Corral: So, what we did
was we added these two little foosballs here that are
connected with another — two little pistons, and so
when we shoot these out, they kind of have air in
it, but it’ll go down, but when we shoot them up, the
ball changes position from where it starts, so when
the foosballs come up, the ball goes like this. The President: Nice. Sergio Corral: And so, it gives
it less time to stay on the catapult — The President: Right. Sergio Corral: — so it
leaves the catapult sooner, and all the force would be
going in vertical position, so it’ll go higher,
lofting fast kind of thing. The President: That’s great. How long did it take you guys to
get the design right and then actually construct it? Isela Martinez: So, we
usually try — first day, we’re trying to make sure that
we don’t get — what are we going to do? What’s the point
we want to go for? The President: (inaudible) Isela Martinez: Yeah, and then
it usually takes about a week, and that’s the only time you
want to spend on it because right after that, we only —
since we only have six weeks, we have to build the
rest of the robot, so as fast as we can get the
design done is when — that’s when we start building it. Sergio Corral: Another pretty
cool fighting — another pretty cool feature we
have on our robot, we currently don’t have it on
because we borrowed it from our mentor, but we had a — what’s
called LIDAR sensor here in the front. Are you familiar
with that sensor? The President: No. Sergio Corral: So, what it
does is it shoots waves out, and then it waits for
the waves to come back, and so it tells it if there’s
something in front of it, so if we shot it right now, it
would hit about where that table is and then come back, and it’ll
tell you there’s something that far away. So, we use that to kind of take
the human out of — out of the equation when we’re
running the robot. So, when we’re going to get a
ball, if it’s standing there, we drive to it, the LIDAR sensor
thinks the ball is getting rolled over here, and so it
senses the velocity and how far away it is. So, once it’s close
enough to our grabber, and since it knows the velocity,
it knows exactly when to close the arms. The President: And it’s
doing this automatically. Sergio Corral: Yes. And since we have it on this
rotating arm, we pull this arm, and you can also catch balls
that either humans or other robots throw at us, so
when they throw the ball, the sensor is facing this
way, and the arms are open. So, it works the same way
as if it was on the ground. It senses the ball coming, and
once it sees it’s close enough, the arms close. The President: Do you have
a name for your robot? Isela Martinez: Lorenzo’s Dream. The President: Lorenzo’s Dream. Isela Martinez: Yes. The President: Pretty good. Come on. Let’s get a good picture. Make sure Lorenzo’s
Dream’s in the picture. I’m so proud of you guys. Isela Martinez: Thank you. Sergio Corral: Thank you. The President: Keep it up. All right? Female Speaker:
Supergirls, here he comes. The President: Hey, guys. Karissa Cheng: Hello. The President: Hello,
what’s your name? Emily Bergenrot: Emily. The President: Can
I shake your hand? Good to see you, and
what’s your name? Karissa Cheng: Karissa Cheng. The President: Good to
see you, Karissa Cheng. What’s your name? Emery Dodson: Emery Dodson. The President: Hi, Emery Dodson. Addy Oneal: Addy Oneal. The President: Good to
see you, Addy Oneal, and what’s your name? Alicia Cutter: Alicia Cutter. The President: Welcome, tell
me about — tell me about your experiment. Tell me about your project. Who is going to go first? Karissa Cheng: Emily. The President: Okay,
Emily, what do you got? Emily Bergenrot: We are the
Supergirls of Girl Scout troop 411. The President: Which is why
you are wearing capes, okay. Emily Bergenrot: We looked at
different tools that were used in education and learning,
including Rubik’s cubes, computers, and smart phones. We decided that books are
a great learning tool. Karissa Cheng: Some people can’t
turn pages anymore because it’s (inaudible) paralyzed or
their arms might not work, so we invented a device that
can help people turn pages of a book. Addy Oneal: This
part turns the pages, and this part makes
it (inaudible). This is how it works. Alicia Cutter: This is our
(inaudible) how long you read each page. That’s where you would learn how
to do some simple (inaudible). The President: Well,
this is wonderful, so how did you guys
figure this out? Karissa Cheng: Well, I had
a brainstorming session. The President: You had a
brainstorming session? Supergirls: Yes. The President: Is that right? And then how long did
it take you to build — Karissa Cheng: Three months. Supergirls: Three months. The President: Three months? That’s a big project. But it’s working really well,
although you got to read kind of fast. Supergirls: Yeah. Karissa Cheng: I can only
read three sentences. (talking simultaneously) The President: Are you guys able
to slow it down and speed it up? Supergirls: No. The President: No? So, that would require sort
of a little adjustment. Karissa Cheng: Yeah,
so we’re going to — Addy Oneal: It gets kind
of — it’s a prototype. The President: It’s a prototype! (laughter) It’s a prototype. It will get more refined later. That’s my point. Karissa Cheng: I think
we have to reset it. Reset it, guys. Bring it to the middle here. Emily Bergenrot: Stop it! (inaudible) The President: So, do you guys
like inventing things and building things like this? Supergirls: (affirmative) Yes. The President: You guys
are very good at this. Karissa Cheng: Okay. The President: I’m so impressed. You’re resetting it? Karissa Cheng: Yes, reset. Emily Bergenrot: That’s
our special page. The President: That’s
the next page — Karissa Cheng: The magic page! The President: (laughs)
This is wonderful, guys. Can I take a picture with you? Supergirls: Sure. Which camera do we look at? (laughter) The President: I know
it’s confusing, isn’t it? So, here, I’m going to stand —
you guys get in front of me. And I’m going to get down on my
knee, so we’re all kind of even, all right? Okay. So I think — where is Pete? Male Speaker 2: He’s
right behind you. The President: Let’s look
at that camera over there. Right over here. And everybody look
up and say cheese. The President and
Supergirls: Cheese. The President: Well, I’m
so proud of you, guys. This is outstanding. How — did you guys
have fun doing this? Supergirls: (affirmative) The President: So, you guys got
to keep on learning math and science, and you guys are going
to build all kinds of great things when you get older. Huh? Karissa Cheng: Thank you. The President: You’re already
great inventers with your brainstorming sessions
and prototypes. Karissa Cheng: (affirmative) The President:
(affirmative) Okay. So, are you guys — what
grade are you guys in? First grade? Karissa Cheng: I’m
in first and — Supergirls: Kindergarten. Karissa Cheng: — they’re
all in kindergarten. You’re in first, and
then kindergarten. Excellent. Well, you guys got
a good head start. Have you been having fun? Karissa Cheng: Yes. The President: Well, I’m
thrilled to have you guys here. Karissa Cheng: Have you ever had
a brainstorm session yourself? The President: I have had
a couple of brainstorming sessions, but I didn’t come
up with anything this good. You guys are better
brainstormers than I am. Karissa Cheng: What
did you come up with? (laughter) The President: You know, I came
up with things like, you know, healthcare. (laughter) Yeah, it turned
out okay, but it — Karissa Cheng: Yeah,
somebody over there — The President: It started
off with some prototypes. We have to — Karissa Cheng: — will you
— somebody over there has healthcare for you. The President: Yeah, well, good
I’m going to go talk to them. Karissa Cheng: (laughs) The President: Thank
you so much, guys. Good job. Group hug, group hug. Good hug. That was a good squeeze. Thank you, guys. Karissa Cheng: My head
was turned upside down! The President: Oh, no. Girls change the world. I like that. Let’s see if you can top this. (laughter) Ruchi Pandya: It’s a
hard act to follow. The President: That’s
a hard act to follow. What’s your name? Ruchi Pandya: Hi, Mr. President. I’m Ruchi; I’m from
San Jose, California. The President: What year
in school are you in? Ruchi Pandya: I’m a senior. The President: Fantastic. Do you know where you’re
going to go next year? Ruchi Pandya: Not yet. College decisions
are coming out soon. The President: All right. Ruchi Pandya: But
I’m still waiting. The President: I
suspect you’ll be okay. Ruchi Pandya: (laughs) The President: So, what
have you been working on? Ruchi Pandya: I developed a
nanotechnology-based biosensor for cardiac health diagnostics. So cardiac arrest is actually
the leading cause of death in the world; it causes
approximately one-third of the deaths. The President: Right. Ruchi Pandya: Current methods
for detecting cardiac arrests are long, very
expensive, very invasive, so I wanted to develop a device
that was very inexpensive, minimally invasive, and
very kind of sensitive, so this is actually
what it looks like. So, it’s a silicon
maker based device. It’s basic nanotechnology, so
one drop of blood would give me an electrochemical readout based
on which I can tell you what a certain protein calculation
in your bloodstream is, and based on that, I can tell
you your risk for cardiac arrest. The President: So that’s — this
protein in the bloodstream is — there’s a high correlation. Ruchi Pandya: Yes, so there’s
actually a little nerve correlation between the changing
current that I can detect and the protein concentration
in your blood. The President: What’s — so
were you already — was the correlation well established,
and the question was, how do you detect that
protein efficiently, or do you also have to try
to map that correlation? Ruchi Pandya: (inaudible) to
increase the sensitivity of the device. If — this device is actually
250 times more sensitive than it was conventionally used, so it
can detect acute cardiac illness and chronic cardiac illness. The President: What was the
principle that led you to make it so much more efficient? Ruchi Pandya: It’s
based on nanotechnology, so I can actually maximize and
manipulate the large surface area of the carbon nanofibers;
they actually look like this: vertically-aligned nanofibers
based which I can actually just latch on linkers and antibodies
and antigens to actually detect certain proteins. So, the beauty of this device is
that it can be used not only for health diagnostics, but also for
biowarfare, agent detection, or food safety monitoring,
or environmental monitoring. The President: So, just
the concept generally, the whatever — where you have
a correlation that you can establish using the
nanotechnology — Ruchi Pandya: Exactly. The President: — you can get
a more sensitive, more acute, and quicker, ultimately,
cheaper technique. Ruchi Pandya: So, even cheaper
than this is the paper-based (inaudible); you can actually
touch it if you want to. It’s a paper-based sensor, so
the idea is something like this could take over the insulin
test, so you go into CVS, pick it up, use it,
and then throw it away. This would be extremely
cheap, very economical, really — in order to
(inaudible) in-home patient care market. The President: So, this seems
like a pretty big deal. So, where are we at now in terms
of venue taking what you’ve learned and starting to talk to
companies that are already in the diagnostic field on this? Ruchi Pandya: So, I’m working at
NASA Ames (inaudible) field in California, so we’re working on
that prototyping stage right now, working on making it
into a hand-held device, so you can actually just
test on the go or at home. So, we are working
on that right now. The President: Obviously you’re
going to continue with your research and ideas in college — Ruchi Pandya: Yes, definitely. The President: You have an idea
of what (inaudible) school you would like to do? Ruchi Pandya: I hope to major in
material science and engineering in college and then work as a
technology entrepreneur and development in the Valley. The President: In the Valley. Ruchi Pandya: In
the Valley (laughs). The President: Great. Come on, let’s take
a good picture. Really proud of you. Congratulations. Ruchi Pandya: Thank you. So nice to meet you. The President: It’s
really nice to meet you. That’s great. Ruchi Pandya: Thank you. The President: Fantastic. All right. Hey, guys. Hello, everyone. Corine Peifer: Good morning. The President: What’s your name? Corine Peifer: My
name is Corine Peifer. The President: Good
to see you, Corine. Kristian Sonsteby: My
name’s Kristian Sonsteby. The President: Good
to see you, Kristian. Where are you guys from? Corine Peifer: We’re from
(inaudible) Pennsylvania, Wallenpaupack, Pennsylvania. The President: Outstanding. So, what have we got here? Corine Peifer: So, we represent
Wallenpaupack Area High School MIT InvenTeams. The President: Okay. Corine Peifer: So, our high
school (inaudible) on the shores of Lake Wallenpaupack. (inaudible). And it’s owned by a real
(inaudible) — company doesn’t allow AC electricity
on the water, so the only way to (inaudible)
the docks that we have is shoreline, so the further out
you go, the less light there is. However, our lake has water
recreation and lots of wind so, therefore, we thought we could
use all the wave energy that we have and convert
it to electricity, so if you don’t mind — The President: I don’t. Corine Peifer: — would you mind
creating some waves in our wave tank? The President: How do I — Corine Peifer: Grab
this, move up and down. The President: Just move
it, get some waves going. Corine Peifer: Get
some waves going. The President: All right. Corine Peifer: So, here you see
this is our representation of our floating dock. The President: Curious. It’s kind of a quiet
day at the lake. (laughter) But we’re starting to
get a little breeze. Corine Peifer: Yes, very true,
and with the (inaudible) over, it generates electricity. The President: See the
light going on here? (laughs) Okay. Corine Peifer: So,
taking this concept, we developed this device. Kristian Sonsteby: All
right, so inside the device, we have two modified
gear motors, which will act as generators,
and they’re both connected to a horizontal metal (inaudible)
that will extend down under the surface of the water, and that
is connected down to a vertical bracket, which is connected to
an anchor that floats stationary under the surface of the water. And from there, when this turns
— because as the dock — because the device
is mounted to a dock, which is floating on the lake,
as the lake moves with the waves, as the dock
moves with the waves — Corine Peifer: Go
ahead, try it out. Kristian Sonsteby:
Yeah, you can — Corine Peifer: (laughs) Kristian Sonsteby: And that will
be generating electricity that will go from here– The President: So, you’re
basically just converting this mechanical energy into — Kristian Sonsteby: Exactly. Yes. The President: Now, the — is
there a minimum amount of wave activity required to make sure
that a small bulb like this goes off? Corine Peifer: Actually, the
light only needs three volts to light, and we can actually
deny it to nine volts. Kristian Sonsteby: After the
electricity’s generated, it’s charged throughout the
day, and it’ll be charging the battery pack, which
is housed inside here. The President: If everything
got completely quiet, the battery at least
would still function. Kristian Sonsteby: Yes, yes,
and then on top of the device, there’s a light sensor that will
be taking light level readings every 15 minutes or so. Once it reads that the light
level is low enough — The President: It’ll
generate the light on? Kristian Sonsteby: Yes, the
microprocessor which will power the light to illuminate the
dock, so covering that. Corine Peifer: We’re
going to let you try. Put your palm on top. Good light. The President: (places
hand on light) Uh oh. (light turns on) There were go. Corine Peifer: There
we go (laughs). The President: I was a
little worried there. That’s outstanding. Have we tested it
in the lake itself? Corine Peifer: Yes,
we have actually. We tested it at local marinas;
we tested it on some quieter days because, actually, out lake
is probably all frozen over, so some days in the spring, we
test it over the weekend because of 4th of July weekend; we tried
it one day after school with some boats running across it. Kristian Sonsteby:
Yeah and it — Corine Peifer: Does well. The President: Great idea. Corine Peifer: Thank you. Kristian Sonsteby: Thank you. The President: Where year
are you guys in school? Corine Peifer:
We’re both seniors. The President: Okay, you guys
know where you’re going to go yet? Corine Peifer:
No, not quite yet. The President: Not quite yet,
and I guess this is when you start finding out,
pretty soon, right? Corine Peifer: Exactly. The President: You
guys are great. Corine Peifer:
Thank you so much. The President: Come on. Let’s get a picture. Come on, you got
to make sure the — Corine Peifer: Here,
here, here, we’ll put — The President: Do we have
a name for our invention? Corine Peifer: Paupack Waves. The President: Paupack Waves? Corine Peifer: Yes. The President: All right. That is outstanding. Corine Peifer: Perfect. Thank you very much. Kristian Sonsteby: Thank you. The President: I’ll be seeing
these in lakes everywhere. Who is next? We’ll go over here. How are you? Kaitlin Reed: Hi, good. The President:
What is your name? Kaitlin Reed: Kate Reed. The President: Hey, Kate. And what is your name? Mohammed Sayed:
I’m Mohammed Sayed. The President: Good
to see you, Mohammed. Where are you guys from? Kaitlin Reed: Cambridge,
Massachusetts. Cambridge, Massachusetts. That is a fine town and got some
pretty good schools there last I checked, so what
have we got here? Kaitlin Reed:
Wheelchair attachments. The President: Okay. Mohammed Sayed: So, I
always wanted a tray table, but I couldn’t find one
that meets my needs, so I invented my own. The President: So, you just
made your own tray table. Mohammed Sayed: Yeah,
and the — I mean, it’s — the cool thing about
what I’ve invented is, for people in wheelchairs,
that beats the time. So, let’s say, if
you have a tray, and after you’re done using
it, you quickly take it apart, and they’re all
magnets incorporated, so that puts
everything together, and then you fold it and put
it inside in your backpack, which we were not allowed
to bring the backpack in. The President: Sorry,
that’s secret service. Mohammed Sayed: Put this here,
and then when you’re not using the tray — I’m a filmmaker, so
I couldn’t find something like this, so I made
it in 3D printer. It’s also magnetic;
it doesn’t fall out, and it attaches to any counter. The President: Oh! Mohammed Sayed: Yeah, and then
beside (inaudible) the cup holder, which is also magnetic,
and the cool thing about a cup holder is that it’s
not just for this kind; it’s for things that you don’t
see in my part of the world that a cup holder would do this. The President: This
is really handy. Mohammed Sayed: So, that’s why
it’s called the Universal Arm. On my (inaudible) —
I’m from Afghanistan, and I want to use this, so
people who can’t afford it can buy it for a dollar or two. The President: And the nice
thing is that you have a concept — it’s really efficient;
it’s relatively simple, and with 3D printing,
you could start — Mohammed Sayed: Yeah, and
I designed it in Fusion, and then I 3D printed it. The President:
That’s outstanding. Mohammed Sayed: Yeah, and also
there’s a canopy that is still in the process, so we have not
— I wasn’t able to bring it yet. The President: To get
a little bit of shade? Mohammed Sayed: To —
shade and rain on us, no, it just comes from the
back and the front and — The President: They’re all
working off of this arm. Mohammed Sayed: All working. And the main idea here was the
two biggest challenge was it should be foldable and
everything have to be controlled from the front
because many people — The President: And
you can’t reach there. Mohammed Sayed: —
don’t realize, yeah, you have to bend
backward and so no. So that idea in mind,
anything that we invent, I just include this, and they
go right in there alongside. The President: Outstanding. Mohammed Sayed: Thank you. The President: Way to go. Mohammed Sayed: And
thanks for having us here. The President: It is my thrill. So, what do we have here? Kaitlin Reed: This is a
hand-drive wheelchair attachment, which can
attach to any wheelchair, and it allows it to be
powered in a rowing motion. So, like this,
instead of like this. And so, the good thing about
that is it’s better for your back; it keep your
hands cleaner, and it’s also a much
more efficient motion. The President: So,
instead of this — Kaitlin Reed: It’s
like a rowing like The President: — you’re
basically like — it’s like a lever that you essentially — Kaitlin Reed: Yeah, exactly. The President: —
pulling back and forth. Kaitlin Reed: Yeah, and so ours
— so basically we didn’t invent this concept, but the concept
of kind of rowing-powered wheelchair has been around, but
they all come kind of with one with the chair — The President: Right. Kaitlin Reed: And those come
anywhere from 2 to $10,000. Because ours is entirely
3D-printable and completely open-source, our costs $40 and
can snap onto any wheelchair. The President:
That’s outstanding. How long did it
take you to design? Kaitlin Reed: So, me and my
partner who is not here today have been working on this
for about three months. And it’s entirely 3D printable;
there’s some of our older versions here, and you can see
it uses a ratchet mechanism, and what that means
is there’s a gear, and there’s like a little
pokey thing, and basically, it goes around — The President: Is
that a technical term? The pokey thing? (laughter) Kaitlin Reed: I mean,
not exactly (laughs), but it goes around and basically
it lock on the opposite way, and then we invented
kind of the dual ratchet, which basically means we have
two gears stacked on top of each other and can engage one at a
time and then disengage the other. So, it can go forward
and backwards. You can try it out. The President:
Could I try it out? Kaitlin Reed: Yeah. The President: You sure? Kaitlin Reed: (affirmative) The President: Okay. All right, so — Kaitlin Reed: So, basically
I have to unlock you, and hold on to that. The President: Okay. Kaitlin Reed: And you
can just push forward. This comes out. The President: Oops,
well I think it came out. Oh, so I think it’s too
loose; it’s not engaged. Kaitlin Reed: Okay, well then
you can look at this one. The back up. The President: The back up? Kaitlin Reed: This one isn’t
on the wheelchair right now, but basically it rolls
in one direction — The President: You
can hear it, yeah, where this one wasn’t catching. Kaitlin Reed: Yeah, it looks
like this one’s off a bit, but we can just put this one on. The President: Well, we don’t
need — I can get a sense that this will work. Kaitlin Reed: (affirmative) The President: What’s amazing is
the fact that you can save so much money compared to
what the current costs are. Kaitlin Reed: (affirmative) It’s
basically less than 1 percent of the current. The President: How
did you get the idea? Kaitlin Reed: Basically
through our school, we were given the challenge to
have a wheelchair and to make attachments that
would make it better, so we were kind of researching. Like at first me and my team
wanted to make like something that would help wheelchairs like
get up and down the curbs and go on and off stairs, but then we
realized those would require like a completely
new wheelchair. And so, what we ended up doing
was just deciding that we would make attachments for it because
that was accessible to everyone. So, then we basically came up
with the hand-drive attachment to make it extremely cheap. The President: Excellent. Come on. Let’s take a picture. What grades are you guys in? Mohammed Sayed: Junior. Kaitlin Reed: Junior. The President:
You’re both juniors? Come on over here. Junior year is busy, but it is
really working out for you. You guys got a lot of
homework done, yeah. Kaitlin Reed: Yeah. The President: Well, it looks
like you’re enjoying it. We’re proud of you. Kaitlin Reed: Thank you. The President: Keep it up. Mohammed Sayed: Thank you. The President:
Really proud of you. Congratulations. How are you, sir? Nikhil Behari: I’m good. The President:
What is your name? Nikhil Behari: Nikhil Behari. The President: Good
to see you, Nikhil. What do we have here? Nikhil Behari: Well, the title
of my project is latencies, haptics, and passwords:
augmenting password security through key-stroke
based verification. The President: Oh, I
was reading about this, so the idea would be that each
of us have a unique way of typing. Nikhil Behari: Correct. So, the basis of my project was
to include the strength and security of passwords. We use password for
a lot of things now. So, the goal of the project
wasn’t to completely get rid of passwords and
implement a new system; the goal was to improve the
security of passwords by adding a secondary form of
authentication to use with passwords, but what I wanted to
do was make this secondary form not too cumbersome, not hard
to use, not hard to implement. So, what I decided on
was a key-stroke based. And an example, the server, or
the program that we’re trying to login to would first
check your password, and then it would check
your typing style, and it would let
you into the system. The President: Now, do people
have a different typing style? Is it — because, you know, I
don’t know if people even learn how to type anymore. But back when I had
to learn how to type, I had a certain
combination, right, that a lot of people
learned how to do. Is it the rhythm and sort of
the strength by which they tap? Nikhil Behari: Right, so that’s
something I actually had to investigate with
this project was see, do people actually type in
different ways that you could use to verify someone. So to do, this I used
three different factors; I used one factor, which was
what I called an action time, which was how long you
press down keys for; the second factor is
what I call a pause time, which is the pauses that you
take on between typing two keys; and the third one was pressure,
which is how hard you hit the keys when you type. So, these are three factors that
I use to distinguish people’s typing styles, and there’s a
couple more that I could have chosen to use, but these were
the ones that I decided to use for this project. The President: And your findings
with were that, in fact, they were sufficiently
distinguishable as a secondary form of authentication
of what — Nikhil Behari: Correct, so
it would actually work with password, so it’s not just
this alone, so like said, the password would
be checked first, and this would be checked, and
then you can see a 98.4 percent classification with just
these three factors, and my goal is — my future goal
for this project is to add more factors, so I could possibly
get that closer to 100 percent. The President:
That’s impressive. Nikhil Behari: Thank you. The President:
Where are you from? Nikhil Behari: I’m from
Sewickley, Pennsylvania. The President: Fantastic. What year are you? Nikhil Behari: I’m
in ninth grade. The President: Ninth grade? Man, these guys are doing a
lot of stuff in 9th grade. Come on. Let’s get a good picture. Fantastic. Keep up the great work. Nikhil Behari: Thank
you, Mr. President. The President:
Good presentation. Hi. Nikhil Behari: Hey
there, Mr. President. The President: How are you? Sophia Sánchez-Maes:
Doing very well. Good morning. The President: Good morning. What is your name? Sophia Sánchez-Maes: My
name’s Sophia Sánchez-Maes, and I’m a high school senior
in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The President: Beautiful place. Sophia Sánchez-Maes: So, today
I’m going to show you how we’re trying to create a sustainable
energy infrastructure using algae, so the idea to use
algae for fuel is nothing new. You heard all about it, but
there’s a reason we don’t have it at the pump yet. It’s costly in
more ways than one; it takes a lot of energy
to produce energy, and in using
traditional methods, it took more energy to produce
the fuel than the fuel would ever contain. Now, my project stops that. So, what I did was I utilized a
chemical reaction that sort of created a reaction, so as to
demonstrate a net energy gain, and I do that by eliminating the
most energy-expensive step of the process. If you look at that
table over there, you’ll see that the
drying of the algae, taking it out of the water, and
extracting the liquids takes the most energy in the entire
production process right there. The President: Right here,
drying and extracting. Sophia Sánchez-Maes: Well under
52 milli-joules of the entire 174, so that’s gone
away with my method. The President: Which is? What was the key insight? Sophia Sánchez-Maes: The key
insight is what’s called hydrothermal liquefaction. The idea behind it isn’t new. We’re doing what’s done at
the center of the earth: high temperatures, high
pressures, we get fuel. Now, that’s great, but that also
seems pretty energy expensive, doesn’t it? Getting it up to super
critical temperatures. The President: Unless we can
afford to wait a billion years or so and then — Sophia Sánchez-Maes: Yeah. The President: — kind
of happens on its own. Sophia Sánchez-Maes: My
generation is kind of the now one. The President: More of a hurry. Sophia Sánchez-Maes:
Yeah, definitely. We want it, and we want it now. And so, that’s kind of
what my process does. Using a couple of catalysts,
I able to bring down the temperature to subcritical
levels and actually demonstrate a net energy gain. That’s all very well. The President: That’s exciting. Sophia Sánchez-Maes:
It’s exciting, but it’s still not enough to
make it compete with oil at the pump. The President: Right. Sophia Sánchez-Maes: Yeah. So, what is unique is I used
a very interesting algae. It’s called galdieria
sulphuraria, and it’s from the hot
springs in Yellow Stone. Now, this is a tough little guy. It’s one of those — one of
the special for, you know, the most crazy forms
of life on earth. Basically, what it is,
is unlike other algae, it can chemosynthesis; it
doesn’t need sunlight in order to perpetuate itself. And it’s very hardy; it can
take tough conditions like the conditions in our waste water. So, what I’m using this algae
to do is purify waste water and create energy. That minimizes the cost for the
entire system and will make a significant energy
debt in our budget. The President: How prevalent is
this algae is it’s found in hot springs Yellow Stone? Sophia Sánchez-Maes:
Well, it’s — The President: You
can duplicate it — Sophia Sánchez-Maes: Yeah,
we can duplicate it — The President: — under
certain conditions. Sophia Sánchez-Maes: — and the
conditions in the waste water are those conditions. Yeah. The President: They don’t have
to be a certain temperature — Sophia Sánchez-Maes: No. The President: — for
the algae to thrive? Sophia Sánchez-Maes: No. They’re pretty hardy; they can
take a lot or take a little, but what’s really cool
about this is they extract contaminants from our waste
water better than the an aerobic bacteria that we’re
currently using. The President: So, we could use
that and then take the algae — Sophia Sánchez-Maes: Exactly. The President: — and then
convert it into energy. Sophia Sánchez-Maes: Turn it
into energy, so in every — The President: It’s a two-for. Sophia Sánchez-Maes: Exactly. About 3 percent of the budget in
the cities is to purify waste water. We can eliminate that and maybe
even put back on to the grid with this system. We’re actually implementing it
right now at our local waste water treatment — The President:
Oh, is that right? You guys are already
testing it out? Sophia Sánchez-Maes:
That’s us (laughs), and it’s working wonderfully. We’re hoping to bring
it to the big time — The President:
Where are you from? Sophia Sánchez-Maes: I’m
from Las Cruces, New Mexico. The President: Las Cruces. This is really exciting. And I’m assuming you will want
to continue working on this when you — Sophia Sánchez-Maes: Definitely,
this is a years-long effort that it’s been — The President: Yeah, so
once you’re in college, this is going to be, you know — Sophia Sánchez-Maes: And the
cool thing is getting this to treat our waste water
here in the U.S. is the steppingstone that we
need to getting this at the pump, which is one of
our ultimate goals. The President: Do you already
know where you’re going to go or are you still waiting. Sophia Sánchez-Maes: I have
a lot of decisions already, so it’s choices time. But I think right now I’m
deciding between Yale and MIT. The President: Those
are good choices. Sophia Sánchez-Maes: Definitely
good problems to have. The President: It’s
a high-class problem. Sophia Sánchez-Maes:
Yeah (laughs). The President: Come on. Let’s take a good picture. We’re so proud of you. Sophia Sánchez-Maes: Thank you. It’s so nice to meet you. The President: You’re
going to do great things. Sophia Sánchez-Maes: Thank you. The President: Fantastic.

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