Monday, April 6, 2015

     A few weeks ago, the team found out that we had received the honor of being able to present our display at the 2015 White House Science Fair!!! Corine Peifer and Kristian Sonsteby were chosen to represent the team in Washington, DC.
     In addition to being invited to the 2015 White House Science Fair, our display was invited to be presented at the VentureWell OpenMinds Exhibition, which is a college version and sister program to the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams Program. At the OpenMinds Exhibition, all guests were given three million "investor bucks" to invest in projects that they feel are very impressive or successful. Being that we were the only high school team in attendance with twelve college teams, we were very surprised to learn that we had received the third highest amount of "investor bucks". The team was awarded $500 in real money that will go back in to help the InvenTeam.
     On Sunday, Corine, Kristian, Mr. Shultz, and the LMIT representatives were in the White House getting everything ready for the White House Science Fair. Our display was located in the Blue Room, which is in the center of the White House. The following day, Corine and Kristian entered the White House gates at 8 AM to make last minute changes before the Science Fair opened. For about an hour, various government officials and public figures in the STEM field were allowed to visit all the students' displays and speak with the students. At around 10 AM, a live broadcast was sent out from the White House which was watched by the rest of the team back in Hawley, PA. President Obama walked around to some displays throughout the White House to meet and speak with the students, and after much anticipation, he spoke with Corine and Kristian representing or team! After meeting with President Obama, the fair was once again open to the other government officials and public fields. Around 1 PM, the fair closed, and breakdown began.
     This whole experience has been absolutely amazing for the entire team. To have created and built a device that was invited to the White House Science Fair is an immense honor. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for everyone involved, and the entire team is so thankful for the tremendous help and support from the community, faculty and staff of Wallenpaupack, and the entire Lemelson-MIT staff.