Hail to the Paper Chief: the Hillary Rodham Clinton Presidential Playset

In these days of apps, games and show-streaming, it’s unusual to amuse yourself with something as analog as paper dolls. Leave it to Quirk Books to come up with a fun, pop culture-friendly take with the Hillary Rodham Clinton Presidential Playset.

Illustrated by Caitlin Kuhwald, the paper doll set imagines Hillary as the first woman in charge of the Oval Office.

Continue reading Hail to the Paper Chief: the Hillary Rodham Clinton Presidential Playset

2012 White House Science Fair

Students, from left, Gaby Dempsey, 12, Kate Murray, 13, and Mackenzie Grewell, 13, read in the Red Room of the White House after setting up their science fair exhibit, Feb. 6, 2012. The three girls, part of the Flying Monkeys First Lego League Team from Ames Middle School in Ames, Iowa, will participate in the second annual White House Science Fair with over 100 students from 45 states. CREDIT: Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert

Nothing like flying marshmallows to keep the secret service busy protecting President Barak Obama. Tuesday was the second annual White House Science Fair. The president seemed to have a blast playing with science yesterday, he even caused a little bit of innocent trouble with 14 year old Maker Faire veteran, Joey Hudy of Phoenix, AZ, as they shot a marshmallow across the bustling East Room of the White House.

A hundred students from 40 different science competitions around the country were honored with an invite to this prestigious event to meet the president personally and show the commander-in-chief what problems the scientific youth today are tackling. He was joined by Bill Nye the Science Guy and Tom Kalil, of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, along with other government officals.

This year’s projects ranged from marshmallow cannons to homemade robots to targeted cancer treatment research. The president was surely excited to meet one particular participant, Samantha Garvey, an Intel Science Talent Search 2012 semifinalist. Samantha completed a study of the mussel life on Long Island while she was homeless. Obama used her project as a perfect example of how even under the most difficult situations, the study of science and engineering can improve ones circumstances.

The President talked with Samantha Garvey, 18, of Bay Shore, N.Y., about her environmental sciences project examining the effect of physical environment and predators on a specific species of mussel, in the State Dining Room of the White House, Feb. 7, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

The White House Science Fair was started late 2010 as one of many initiatives to encourage STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education around the nation, fulfilling a commitment he made at the launch of his Educate to Innovate campaign. In an address to the students, the president explained that his administration and its partners are working to educate 100,000 science and math teachers and to train 1 million additional STEM graduates over the next decade, it will be known as the 100kin10 initiative.

“As an American, I’m proud of you, and as your president, I think we need to make sure your success stories are happening all across our country,” he said. “Let’s train more teachers, let’s get more kids studying these subjects.”

The president has asked for $80 million in the yet-to-be-approved Department of Education budget, to be invested specifically into STEM teachers. This would cover programs that allow undergraduates to get both a STEM degree and a teaching certificate (including time spent in the classroom honing their skills). An additional $22 million has been donated by 14 private companies, including the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Google and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. As another part of the 100kin10 initiative public programs such as Teach for America and National Math and Science Initiative will recruit and prepare nearly 15,000 STEM teachers around the nation.