Girls in STEM: A New Generation of Women in Science


The President:
The belief that we belong on
the cutting edge of innovation, that’s an idea as
old as America itself. It’s in our DNA. We know that what these
young people are doing, this is what’s going to make a
difference in this country over the long haul. Angela:
I created a nanoparticle
that’s kind of like the Swiss Army Knife
of cancer treatment. Isis:
A UV light lunchbox Ma’Kese:
That kills bacteria
off fruits and food. Heather:
My project was actually
built a detection method for buried landmines. Maryanna:
I did my project on sheep
genetics in Cotswold sheep, the natural color
versus the white genes. Ada:
The smart phone works
with blue tooth enabled heart rate monitor to detect if
there’s a medical emergency and then notify contacts with
where you are, what happened, what’s going on, where
they can find you. Gaby:
We created an adaptive
hand device for a girl in Georgia. The President:
So, did you play the game
or you designed the game? Hannah:
I designed the game. The President:
You designed the game. Sheesh, that’s
pretty impressive. Angela:
So creating cancer treatments,
there are two major problems. First, it’s not specific
towards cancer cells, so it kills normal cells in
addition to cancer cells. So that has very low
patient quality of life. And then the second problem is
although it kills the majority of cancer cells, it doesn’t
really kill the source of cancer cells. So my nanoparticle can detect
cancer cells in the body, eradicate the cancer cells,
and then monitor the treatment in spots. The objective of this project
really was just to personalize cancer treatment to make it
more effective and how it can overcome a problem that
all of society is facing. The President:
I’m very proud of you. Angela:
Thank you. The President:
Go cure cancer. Angela:
Thank you. The President:
Yeah, I like that. Heather:
First of all, I have cousins
who live in Mozambique and have to deal with the
daily threat of landmines. I heard their stories and was
really inspired by what they had to say. So while all this was
running through my head, I was at the piano one
night playing the piano, and I noticed that when I
played certain chords or notes, the strings on a nearby
banjo would resinate. And so I heard that and made the
connection and thought maybe I can use the same principle
to detect buried landmines. So I started doing this kind of
research and somehow ended up at the White House. The President:
So this has just a very
direct application to the sheep that are on your farm? Maryanna:
Yes, sir. The President:
Fantastic. Maryanna:
There’s only 2,500 registered
Cotswolds in the United States, and that includes white
and natural colored. Over the years, the people in
the Cotswold industry have bred out the natural colors because
the fiber artists want just the white wool to dye and
use for different things. But now that people have
realized there’s such a decline in the numbers
of natural colors, they are really trying to
breed them back and pull them back into the industry. But it’s really, really hard to
get those high quality natural colored sheep because the
genetic gene pool is so low. When you go to look for
natural colored sheep, it’s really difficult
to find them. And it’s been my passion to
breed and bring the natural colors back into the industry. I wanted to be in the fiber
industry and have livestock and have the sheep so that I could
learn more for myself about the animals and the livestock
industry and just take part in that core agriculture process. The President:
I did not realize that
ultraviolet light can actually kill bacteria. Isis:
Yes. The President:
I did not realize that. Well, it’s a pretty
spiffy invention. Ma’Kese:
First you put the fruit in. Then you close the lid. Isis:
You turn it on. You wait for 10 seconds. After those 10 seconds,
you open the lunchbox. You simply take your
fruit out and you eat it. A lunchbox that helps people, I
never thought I could do that. Kate:
The ultimate goal was to
help Danielle to write with her preferred hand. Mackenzie:
She is right-hand dominant,
and she didn’t have most of the fingers on her right hand,
and she really wanted to write with her right hand. So we decided that we
would help her write. Kate:
I know something about
living with a limb difference, because I have one myself. So we began to make
prototypes for how to help her hold a pencil. And we ended up using a simple
design of a platform and a cylinder adjacent to it, in
which you could insert a pencil, and just strapped
on to her hand, and then she started to write. Greeshma:
The first thing we want
to show you is usually the user can check your status by
clicking on the status button. And you can see I’m
a little nervous, so my heart rate
is a little high. We do have a series of
checks to ensure that there are no false alarms. And let’s say you do not press
a check because you actually are in need of help. It starts issuing a loud
audible alert as well. Ada:
As you’ll see in a moment. Electronic Device:
A medical emergency
has been detected. Greeshma:
It’s saying a medical
emergency has been detected. The next thing that happens is
a text message is automatically sent to her cell phone, and
at the same time your medical information is
displayed on the screen. So paramedics and anyone else
that shows up can see your past history and things like that,
which could be helpful in the event of an emergency. Ada:
One of the huge advantages
of ours is that you don’t actually need to press
a button to summon help. You know, because when you need
help the most is when you can’t get it yourself. Greeshma:
The most unique thing
about it is it is mobile. You can take it anywhere. And this is on your cell phone,
which is something most people carry around all the time. So I think that’s
an awesome feature. And also, as Ada mentioned,
the fact that it’s passive. You don’t actually have
to press the button. In the event of a heart attack,
it will automatically send alerts to your contacts. Ada:
This is an idea that really
resonated with all of us. We all have relatives that
aren’t living with us, you know, in the house, far away. I know my grandfather had
a stroke in the backyard, and we didn’t know exactly what
was going on for a while and always kind of wondered what if
we would have been able to find him sooner or whatever. And this is just to kind of
give them that security of having family members
when they need them. Hannah:
In this game I want people to
be environmental pretty much. What the game is about, there’s
polluting factors in the city, and the other people
can’t breathe. So this one right here has
to pretty much go around and collect like coins and hearts
and get the score to 500 so they can win the game and
people can breathe better. The President:
That’s really cool, though. Hannah:
Thanks. The President:
How long did it take
you to design it? Hannah:
A couple months. The President:
Uh-huh. So you want
to be a game designer? Hannah:
Maybe. The President:
Yeah? Yeah, you’re
only in 5th grade. You don’t have to
make up your mind now. [laughter] The President:
It’s young people like you
that make me so confident that America’s best days
are still to come. When you work and study and
excel at what you’re doing in math and science, when you
compete in something like this, you’re not just trying
to win a prize today. You’re getting America in
shape to win the future. Kate:
What I would say to
people, especially girls, who are interested in
STEM activities is that you should be. Greeshma:
Find other people who
have similar interests, and I think working
in a team helps a lot. Like you can bounce
ideas off of each other. You’re not on your own. Maryanna:
Just go out there and
go for it and do it. I mean, there are
infinite possibilities. You can do anything you want. Just being a woman doesn’t
hold you back from anything. Tayo:
I feel like I can make
a difference and develop technology that’s really
going to help people. Angela:
When I was a kid, I asked
a lot of ‘why’ questions, and I found that science and
math usually were the answers, the coolest answers, to
all of my why questions. Eva:
By knowing that your ideas
might change the future is something that I like. Heather:
I mean, it’s a great
field for everybody, and there’s nothing, there’s
nothing that should hold women back or put men in front of us. Isis:
Don’t give up on the first
thing that doesn’t work out. Keep going, keep trying
until you succeed. And after you succeed,
keep going and keep going. Hannah:
Don’t be shy. Try your hardest to
do what you can do, because sometimes if
you try hard enough, you can make it come true.

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