Kid science advisers counsel the president to think big

Demonstrating his 3-D printing project at the White House Science Fair earlier this year, 9-year-old Jacob Leggette of Baltimore stumped the president. “Do you have a child science adviser?” Leggette asked.

President Obama thought it was a great idea, and now he has 11. Obama welcomed his newest advisory group — all students — to the Oval Office on October 21 to discuss how to engage kids with science and technology.

Kid science advisers pitched hands-on classroom techniques to quite an audience: the president, his adult science adviser, and three former astronauts, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Mark and Scott Kelly.

Anahi Gandara-Rodriguez, 15, of Denver shared her idea: starting a school club based on community problem-solving. She is working on a “smart” cane to help blind people.

Young people across the country submitted more than 2,500 ideas to the White House as part of the Kid Science Advisors campaign.

“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. “They’re not afraid to try things and ask tough questions.”