Calling All Kids! President Obama Wants Your Science and Tech Ideas

2016 White House Science Fair
President Barack Obama blows a bubble while talking with 9-year-old Jacob Leggette about his experiments at the White House Science Fair on April 13, 2016. (Image credit: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Inspired by the recommendation of a 9-year-old inventor during the White House Science Fair in April, President Barack Obama has put out a call to kids across the United States to share their thoughts on science, technology and innovation.

Both in and out of classrooms, kids know firsthand how to inspire students in the STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math. So the president is asking young scientists and inventors to tell the White House what it can do to build the future of science, discovery and exploration.

"Whether you care about tackling climate change, finding a cure to cancer, using technology to help make people's lives better or getting a human to Mars, we can't wait to get your input!" John Holdren, director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, wrote in a White House blog post yesterday (May 19) to announce the initiative. [Summer Reading: Best Science-y Books for Kids]

The online form (which doesn't require kids to submit personal information) includes questions such as, "What is your favorite thing about science, technology, engineering or math?" and "If you could pitch the president one idea on how we could make our country work better using science and technology, what would you say?"

Holdren also noted the president's long record of encouraging kids to engage with science and technology.

"He recognizes that the future of our country depends on the innovations and advances of today's students," Holdren wrote. 

At the annual White House Science Fair in April, the president reiterated this idea.

"One of the things I find so inspiring about these young thinkers is that they look at all these seemingly intractable problems as something that we can solve," Obama said at the time. "There is a confidence when you are pursuing science. They don't consider age a barrier. They don't think, 'Well, that's just the way things are.' They're not afraid to try things and ask tough questions."

From the inventions they've tried to the questions they've asked, students interested in STEM are encouraged to submit their ideas through the White House's blog.

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Kacey Deamer
Staff Writer
Kacey Deamer is a journalist for Live Science, covering planet earth and innovation. She has previously reported for Mother Jones, the Reporter's Committee for Freedom of the Press, Neon Tommy and more. After completing her undergraduate degree in journalism and environmental studies at Ithaca College, Kacey pursued her master's in Specialized Journalism: Climate Change at USC Annenberg. Follow Kacey on Twitter.