The day after President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) organized the State of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math — or SoSTEM — event at the Eisenhower Executive Building. My editor Dante arranged for me to attend it.
When I got to the meeting room at 9:50 a.m., I went to interview Bobak Ferdowsi, better known as the Mohawk Guy, who is the flight director for the Mars Curiosity Program. Bobak was very nice and funny. He was wearing his “normal” Mohawk, except it was dyed blue and red. One side of his head said MARS.
The interview went quite smoothly. At one point during the interview we were briefly joined by Dr. John Holdren, the assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of OSTP. Dr. Holdren chatted with the Mohawk Guy about the State of the Union speech the night before.
At 10 a.m., the SoSTEM meeting began. The panel for the meeting included the Mohawk Guy, Lori Garver (deputy director of NASA), Todd Park (US chief technology officer), high school student Jake Andraka (2012 Intel Science Competition winner), and iTriage CEO Peter Hudson. Dr. Holdren was the moderator and started the meeting. In the audience, there were about 50 students from nearby middle and high schools. Some students asked about the Mars program and NASA, and others asked about STEM.
It was a really great meeting, and it was great to go to the White House — especially on one of my first assignments!
Check out my report on the SoSTEM event and my interview with Mohawk Guy on the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps website!
How important do you think a good STEM education is? Let us know in the comments below!
—Kid Reporter Emily Shao
Photo: Kid Reporter Emily Shao talks with Dr. John Holdren (center) before the SoSTEM event on Wednesday, February 13, 2013. (Courtesy Emily Shao)