Students from across the country got to participate in the ultimate science fair Monday -- not in a school auditorium but in the halls of the White House. NY1's Tara Lynn Wagner was there as President Obama described how impressed he was with what he saw.
Hearing someone describe your invention as "really cool" can be a rewarding experience, but even more so if that person is the President of the United States.
That's just what happened to White House Science Fair participant Victoria Fletcher.
"It was so exciting, you could just feel the blood rushing through you," Fletcher, 13, says. "Your heart was pounding and it just was awesome."
Fletcher was one of roughly 100 students who got to demonstrate a project for President Barack Obama, who eagerly took a few for a spin and came away clearly impressed by what he saw.
"If you are inventing stuff in the third grade, what are you going to do by the time you get to college," Obama says.
Perhaps hold a few patents. That's the case for Greyson McClusky. Last year he won the "Wouldn't It Be Cool If..." competition run by Time Warner Cable -- NY1's parent company -- and says the president's support of science, technology, engineering and math -- or STEM -- means a lot to him and his peers.
"It's inspirational to know that someone as high up as President Obama cares about me and other people my age and wants us to succeed in life and knows that we are the next generation," McCluskey says.
The president not only marveled the achievements on display at the fair, he also announced some new initiatives to help support and mentor the innovators of tomorrow.
He called for an all-hands-on-deck approach -- with more volunteers, more mentors and of course, more teachers.
"We need to make this a priority to train an army of new teachers in these subject areas and to make sure that all of us as a country are lifting up these subjects up for the respect that they deserve," Obama says.
This is the third year for the White House Science Fair -- a celebration not just of these contest-winning projects but of the young inventors and innovators who will shape the future.
"We want you to know that you've got a whole country behind you as you pursue your dreams," Obama says. "Your success is going to be our success as well."
For more information about science, technology, engineering and math opportunities in your community, visit ConnectAMillionMinds.com.