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Science buff goes to the White House

Official White House photo by Lawrence Jackson

Student chosen as President Obama’s ‘advisor’

With his keen love of science, Logan Beatty jumped at the chance to be a ‘Kid Science Advisor’ for former US President Barack Obama.

The ‘Kid Science Advisor’ campaign, an initiative by the White House, asked students to share their innovative ideas about the future of science. It also aimed to improve STEM instruction in schools.

As part of the application process, Logan, a student from Land O’Lakes school’s IB Diploma Programme (DP) feeder programme, had to answer: ‘What would you say if you could pitch the President one idea to improve our country using science and technology?’

Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

He explains: “Many technologies are inspired by nature, and the ocean is an enormous reservoir of mostly untapped potential. I found a correlation between technology and nature, and suggested that we explore more nature in the oceans to find inspiration for new technologies, for example, Velcro and bioluminescent lighting.

“By exploring the oceans, we can find inspiration for new sources of energy, food and water sources, and medicine. I also noted that my idea addressed some of the UN Sustainable Development Goals such as ‘no poverty’, ‘zero hunger’, ‘clean water and sanitation’, and ‘life below water’.”

Logan’s idea was successful and he became one of 11 student advisors chosen for the campaign. He was invited to the White House to meet the President – an experience that Logan says he will never forget.

I couldn’t believe it when  President Obama entered the room. We all shook his hand and followed him into the Oval Office where we took a picture. He then handed us a Presidential Challenge Coin and wished us good luck,” explains Logan.

Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

Since becoming an advisor, Logan has improved his public-speaking skills and become more open-minded. He says: “I got to hear the ideas of children from all around the US. I am in touch with many of the people who I met, and I am forming lifelong friendships.”

Although he is unsure about his future career, Logan hopes it involves public speaking, science and policy. For now, he is keen to work with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

“I plan to use what I have learned to accomplish great things,” he says.

 

This article is part of a series of stories from IB World magazine that bring to life the wonderful initiatives undertaken by IB students and educators from around the globe. Follow these stories on Twitter @IBWorldmag #IBcommunitystories. Do you have a unique and compelling to tell? Share your great stories and experiences: email editor@ibo.org