Tune in to the White House Science Fair if you get the chance today: http://www.whitehouse.gov/science-fair
Five of my students will be there, showcasing their Solar-Powered Toy Hovercraft that they designed and created last year. Their project won first place in the Constellation Energy Challenge last spring, which was a collaboration between NFTE (Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship) and Maryland MESA (Math, Engineering, and Science Achievement), to have students design a product using alternative energy, engineer a working prototype of that product, and create a business plan for marketing the product to consumers. Thanks and credit also go to my amazing colleague who also advised them, and to two Morgan State University engineering students who mentored the team on their project.
A video of an early prototype (not yet using solar energy) can be found here.
The students did an amazing job with both their project and their presentation of it to a panel of judges last May, and received a special invitation earlier this month to be a part of President Obama’s annual White House Science Fair.
In addition to this invitation to the White House being tribute to the creativity, talent, and teamwork of the specific students, I think this team of five students, born in five different countries, also represents the great potential of my school’s (and America’s) diversity to create learning experiences and spark innovation. As well as providing a counter-narrative to the usual news of only bad things happening in Baltimore City Schools.
Wish them luck, and watch along!