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Tony Gets Chummy With President Obama

February 10th, 2012 (05:22 pm)
pleased

current mood: pleased

My nephew Tony, age 13, was invited to the White House this week to attend a science fair as one of 100 genius students from around the nation who had won major science and technology competitions. His project for this one was a software program his team created to help schools track student dismissals at the end of the day. It went live this week at a school in New Hampshire, and several other schools are interested. His team, with my sister Maria as coach, was a 2011 Gold Medal Winner in the Christopher Columbus Awards program.

On Tuesday, President Obama met the students from all over the country, looked at the science projects of those who were exhibiting there, and gleefully fired a marshmallow out of an air cannon. He spoke about the importance of innovation and the need for more, better-trained science and math teachers. Here's a link to C-SPAN footage of his speech.

You can see Tony in the video. He is sitting in the first row, toward the left. He's not visible during the close-in shots of the President's speech, but you can see him clearly at the beginning and end of the footage, and you can watch the President shake his hand afterward. He's the second boy from the left, in the first row, wearing a red tie.

He and his team have another terrific science project now that is already wnning big awards. They're the New Hampshire state winner in the First Lego League awards program and have been invited to attend the world competition this spring. This project is a new kind of packaging for dairy products that is embedded with a special thermometer that can alert retailers and consumers if the temperature of the product has risen too high for safety. Watch for him at next year's White House science fair for that one!