White House Science Fair Brings STEM Education to the Capital By Ryan Wallace firstname.lastname@example.org | Mar 23, 2015 06:11 PM EDT In Congress and the House of Representatives, topics of science are often met with quite a lot of controversy and disagreement. But it appears that in the White House, STEM subjects are appreciated on a different level. This Monday, Mar. 23, the White House Science Fair brought more than 35 student teams from across the nation to show their projects to the President of the United States, and a coalition of CEOs present at the event. Exhibits included spinal implants, algae, keystroke security and even tech innovated out of Legos. "Every year I walk out smarter than when I walked in" President Obama said, stating that the fair is one of the most fun events held annually at the White House. Though science has often played an essential role in consulting political leaders throughout the past, politics has often come diverted funds from studies within the sciences. To combat this and bring more scientists into the fold, in 2009 President Obama launched the "Educate to Innovate" program to encourage the study of science, technology, engineering and math. Since then more than 100 colleges and universities have expanded high-quality STEM education programs, and the study of these vital subjects continues to grow. Highlighting private-sector efforts and government programs geared towards encouraging students from underrepresented groups to pursue educations in STEM programs, With this year's fair focused on diversity, Obama announced at the White House Science Fair that more than $240 million in additional pledges were made from private-sector companies, commitments that have brought the total financial and material support for these programs up to $1 billion since it began in 2009. "It's not enough for our country just to be proud of you" President Obama says. "We've got to support you." Obama says that the philanthropic efforts are encouraging to see and that the campaign will continue its efforts to expand STEM opportunities to underrepresented youth, such as minorities and females in the sciences.