President Barack Obama hosted his final White House science fair yesterday, during which he showcased burgeoning inventors, scientists, and engineers like Sanjana Rane, who uncovered a protein that acts as marker for renal fibrosis, and Olivia Hallisey, who developed a diagnostic test for the Ebola virus, the Associated Press reports.
"You remind us that together through science we can tackle some of the biggest challenges we face," Obama said at the fair. "You are sharing in this essential spirit of discovery that America is built on."
The fair was launched in 2010 to as part of the Educate to Innovate program to spur students' interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, the Huffington Post notes.
It also, the New York Times adds, allows Obama to show his science nerd side as he fist-bumped nine-year-old Kimberly Yeung and 11-year-old Rebecca Yeung, who launched a craft complete with tracking devices, cameras, and a picture of their cat 78,000 feet into the air and examined an ocean energy generator developed by 15-year-old Hannah Herbst for a pen pal in Ethiopia.
"I have just been able to see the unbelievable ingenuity and passion and curiosity and brainpower of America's next generation, and all the cool things that they do," Obama said.
It also, Times notes, made the president feel a tad inadequate. "What were you doing in high school?" he said to reporters.